By Gary Bogue
Friday, March 23rd, 2012 at 6:02 am in Great egret.
I took this photo of an egret in our backyard (in Martinez), last weekend. He was amazing, but after the “photo shoot” I had to chase him out of the yard, because I was afraid he might go after some of the fish in our pond. Most of our fish are pretty good size, so I was wondering, just how large of a fish this guy could swallow?
Tracy Hiler, Martinez, California
This egret was probably cruising by overhead when it spotted your pond and decided to drop in for a little fishing. With these fish-eating birds, their eyes are often bigger than their stomachs … or in this case … bigger than it’s mouth or neck. That long neck, by the way, is pretty stretchy and can expand to swallow some pretty BIG fish. In any event, yes, the egret might have taken a shot at catching one or more of the “good size” fish in your pond. How large a fish can it swallow? You never know until you try. You were wise to chase it away.
Just keep in mind that it might return to try again when you’re not around. /Gary