Quick Shot: Minnow Sized Snack

Last week I shared the story and photographs of a large Osprey eating a proportionally large fish. Today's bird/fish pairing is significantly smaller, but equally fun. 

I decided to return to the spot of my Osprey sighting last week, hoping that lightening might strike twice and I'd have another lucky encounter (spoiler alter: I wasn't as lucky).  I stumbled upon the same Green Heron from last week... you might recall that his body language when he suddenly tensed up and looked skyward was what alerted me to the presence of the Osprey. Since I didn't do him justice with any photos last week, I decided to take some time and honor his fishing feats.

Unlike the Osprey, which dive bombs fish from fairly high in the air, the heron would sit on a log and look for little minnows and fish in the pond below. With lightening fast reflexes the heron would spear these fish out of the water and gulp them down in seconds. The whole process is fast enough that you can't blink or you miss it, which makes photographing this event rather challenging. 

The only way to catch a photograph of these birds with a fish in mouth is to either 1) have a really slow eating heron who takes his time or 2) anticipate the movement and start holding down the shutter. I opted for #2. As a result, I have alot of photographs of nothing....

After a few rounds of watching him, I was able to anticipate the snack well enough to snag several shots as he caught this minnow and rotated it in his beak before swallowing.  

Shot with the Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm lens, Nikon SB-700 flash, Better Beamer, and from a monopod.  

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