Because of its size, a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is easy to spot, even at a distance. When I noticed this one standing in the middle of a salt flat at the Brazoria Wildlife Refuge, I knew it was well beyond the reach of my camera, but I was interested in the ‘something’ it was shaking with its bill. Assuming it was a large fish, I took a closer look through my camera’s lens, and discovered the heron was dealing with a snake.
At that point, the snake seemed to be in charge, but after a few minutes of tussling it unwrapped itself and dropped to the ground. Clearly still interested, the heron took only seconds to re-enage with the reptile.
After a quick stab toward the ground, he had the snake by the tail: a situation the snake seemed to be evaluating as it raised its head for a better look at its opponent.
After getting a better grip on the situation, the heron paused, then lifted off and flew deeper into the flats, the snake still dangling from its bill. I felt some sympathy for the beautiful (as yet unidentified) snake, but was pleased that I’d been able to witness the sight. I presume that, in time, the heron overcame the snake, and enjoyed an unexpected treat for its supper.