This Great Egret (Ardea alba) probably wouldn’t have rejected the proverbial early bird’s worm as a snack, but it was morning at Brazos Bend, and time to search for something a little more substantial.
After scanning the skies for several minutes, the egret began scrutinizing the surrounding water with that wonderful intensity common to wading birds.
Predictably, its strike was fast and unpredictable: so much so that I nearly missed it. Egrets prefer fish, but within the thick foliage a frog, snake, crawfish, or shrimp might have been its target.
Given the strength of its bill and the speed of its attack, the bird’s success was understandable, although the prey it pulled from the water wasn’t easy to identify.
No matter. The bird seemed pleased with its catch, and I was more than pleased to have caught its image in the early morning light.