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Egret goes fishing in a backyard pond

Egret checking out backyard pond for fish. Photo by Tracy Hiler, Martinez, CA
1egret tracy hiler, mtz

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

Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Under: Great egret | 2 Comments »

Great egret catching crayfish on Grayson Creek

Great egret catches crayfish in Grayson Creek. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1great heron dave harper oakley

Here’s a great egret catching a crayfish on Grayson Creek.
Dave Harper, Oakley, California

On my way home from work, I often see one of these big white herons stalking crayfish and frogs in the tidal marsh area at the Martinez Marina offramp off  northbound 680 at the south end of the Benicia Bridge. They just walk slowly along in the water, head cocked, eyes focused, until … BAM! Another frog or crayfish dinner goes sliding down the inside of that long neck. Great photos! /Gary

Great egret swallowing crayfish caught on Grayson Creek. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1great heron2 dave harper oakley

Posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Under: Great egret | No Comments »

This great egret is looking for fish in a local swimming pool

Great egret by backyard pool. Photo by Norma Lent, Lafayette, CA.
great egret1 norma lent laf

This beautiful bird was sitting on my patio a few feet from my back door this afternoon. He stayed for several minutes. What is it, and why would he pick a spot so near my house to take a rest?
Norma Lent, Lafayette, California

It’s a great egret … a large white heron. It is actually pretty common to find them resting in backyards that have swimming pools. These birds hunt for fish, amphibians, etc., in our local creeks and ponds. As far as they are concerned a swimming pool is a natural pond, so this one is checking your pool out to see if there’s anything to eat. From the looks of your photos, your pool is located in a pretty wild, natural area. It should eventually realize there’s nothing edible in those greenish depths and fly off to look for other places to hunt. Nice photos. /Gary

Egret flies away. Photo by Norma Lent, Lafayette, CA
great egret2 norma lent laf

Posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
Under: Great egret, heron | 1 Comment »