Last Gasp

Last week I was watching this great blue heron doing some late evening fishing in the marsh pond. At one point he struck at the water and came up with a fish who’s last gasp of life we see here prior to heading down the heron’s throat. Kind of sad for the poor fish but so it goes in nature, the birds need to eat in order to survive and propagate their species.

GBH with Gasping Fish

46 thoughts on “Last Gasp

  1. One thing that makes images like this so interesting and often even riveting is the fact that fish don’t blink or have eyelids. So their eyes are always so wide open and with the mouth agape it looks quite expressive.

    • It is kind of shocking to stare at a frozen moment like this but as I said, so it goes in nature.
      I appreciate you checking out this photo Sylvia!
      I got alligators from last night, wanna see ’em?! 🙂

  2. I’ll never, ever forget the first time I saw an alligator gar grab a baby duck by the feet and pull it down. “Where did it GO?”, I wailed. It was my introduction to the circle of life. Eat or be eaten seems to be the rule – shoot, it IS the rule. But being able to see it in such a detailed and respectful photo is a real gift you give us. Great shot.

    • Nature can be tough to view sometimes and even tougher up close. I think I would have a very hard time watching and photographing African wildlife chase and eat another animal. Once again I understand it’s nature, but still hard.
      I am glad you liked this photo, thanks.

  3. Those two are almost eyeball to eyeball… fantastic shot, as always! We have yet to see a alligator snatch a bird for the full circle… or something close to it.

  4. Hello Phil, I am in awe again :). I know that I will never take photos as good as yours, nor do I aspire to impossible achievements but I would like to know what gear you used for this one. I suppose that owing to the subject matter most of your shots are taken hand-held? (would you disclose me your camera make and lens)

    • Thank you very much for your kind comments Paula I appreciate it greatly!
      I use a Canon 7D with a Canon 300 f4 often with a 1.4 extender attached and I shoot most all action including BIF handheld. I have a tripod but use that mostly as something to hold the camera when I’m not using it. 🙂

      • 🙂 Sounds like a lovely lens 🙂 Would be great to own it and use it some day 🙂 Thank you very much Phil for giving me the details 🙂

  5. As per the norm, you have yet again taken a fantastic photo, you do have to feel sorry for the fish though :), hopefully it was quick and painless………

    • Yes tough to watch the end of another fish’s life but the heron requires the fish to survive and so the circle of nature continues.
      I am glad you liked this photo, thanks.

  6. Beautiful bird, poor fish. It’s the circle of life, though. Whenever a sparrowhawk goes through the garden and takes a small bird (mercifully it doesn’t always get one), sad though it is, I know that that hawk too has babies to feed. And so on and so on ….

    • We had a Cooper’s Hawk swoop into our backyard bird feeder area recently likely after one of the fat, slow doves, but the doves got away. Yes indeed the hawk needs to eat and feed it’s family.
      Thank you for checking out this photo Maggie.

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