So I’m watching a snowy egret (Egretta thula) as it hunts in the shallows.
Several times I blow the picture I’m trying to take because I’m laughing too hard to hold the camera still. Why? Because the lively bird continually engages in a hunting dance similar to what the reddish egret does.
Suddenly the wings spread and flutter a bit, the bird runs and hops and dashes madly from place to place, and then it stops abruptly and watches, waiting to see if it scared up a fish or two.
Back and forth it goes as it repeats this entertaining behavior.
Then along comes a little blue heron (Egretta caerulea).
The snowy egret doesn’t like the competition and gives chase, its plumage flared up as it fusses at the dark bird.
Not wanting any drama, the little blue heron moves away to give the snowy some room. But the snowy follows…
And from then on, the little blue gets no peace whatsoever. Each time it pauses, the snowy rushes over to harass it and make sure it doesn’t steal any fish.
I watch this interaction for nearly 10 minutes. Eventually, though, the little blue heron tires of the snowy’s bothersome antics and moves on.
Having secured its territory, the snowy flies away as well.
That leaves the great blue heron and the great egret to enjoy the bay all to themselves.