Mr. A’s BIG Dinner
Last week we were watching our pal Mr. A feeding in the salt marsh right around low tide. He likes to go there at that time because he can easily plunder a shallow pool of water which is stuffed with landlocked fish and crabs. Normally he is content to scoop up mouthfuls of the smaller fish that are jumping all over, but on this night Mr. A scored himself an entrée sized fish. This poor fish had the misfortune to not be paying attention as the tide was going out so instead of swimming along in the marsh, it ended up on the night’s menu.
Yummy is right! Mr. A is soooo happy! 🙂
OK…I feel bad for the fish…and I don’t usually feel bad for fish but look at the look on his face. Incredible Phil.
Yeah we sometimes do feel bad for the fish, or the crabs, especially when you hear that shell crunch. But so it goes in nature. Thanks Edith.
I’m with Edith on this one, Phil. Normally fish don’t seem to have much of an expression, but that is a particularly horror filled expression in frame 3 with they eye bugged out like that. I guess it doesn’t bother Mr. A if his meal has an eye looking like that. I could never eat anything with an eye…even an egg. 😮
Well, having said it is a scary sight (Nature is not all Disney characters is it?), this is also a collection of great alligator feeding behavior images. Well done, Phil.
Steve trust me, I totally spared y’all the really gory ones. The scene with the fish was ten times worse then what I’ve shown here. I debated putting the eyeball shot in but you would have nightmares with images I have on file that I decided not to post. But in any case I’m glad you appreciate seeing nature in action.
It would take more than that for me to have nightmares, Phil. I might pass on a tuna sandwich for a while though. 🙂 I am sure it got pretty gory having seen animals eat their prey a couple of times. Seeing a frog slowwwwwly disappear into a snake is not much fun either.
Yeah we saw a cotton mouth take a bullfrog, and it takes a while…it’s neither quick nor pretty.
I have shots from earlier this season of an alligator taking a long time to demolish a pelican and those photos have never seen the light of day. Hey but it’s nature right? 🙂
Nature it is, Phil. I forget exactly, but several years ago Turner had a series of animals being animals instead of warm fuzzy delightful Disney characters. A little less enjoyable than Bambi for sure but, as you said, it is nature.
A friend of mine saw an alligator snag a fawn some time ago. In truth I’m very happy I did not witness that.
I always hate it when the African crocs grab a baby Wildebeest…..etc.
Ouuuu!! Number 3 is scary!!
Judy, you should ( or maybe you shouldn’t 😯 ) see the ones I decided not to post. I don’t want to give anyone nightmares but it was a whole lot worse then what I’ve posted here. Thanks for looking though.
Yeah, doesn’t surprise me that you don’t have some gorier ones!! Wise decision probably!! We know nature is red in tooth and claw but being academic is sometimes preferred to being an eye witness. I felt that way the time I saw a blue heron chick nearly kill its nestling brother in its manic panic to get food first. I preferred to think of the nestlings as brotherly.
The fish doesn’t look very happy! With a spoony he still would have had a fair chance. Not with Mr. A! 😛
Your photos are again really great! ▲
That fish might have beat up a spoonie. 🙂 But as you say, no chance at all when you have Mr. A going out for dinner.
Thanks so much for looking!
Wow, how cool that you captured this………….. see ,, all that waiting and waiting, do pay off!
I had no idea there were any large fish in the pool of water he was fishing in, but I guess he knew and it was only a matter of time before he got one. He actually got two that I saw.
Thanks for looking Sally!
Always love your photos Phil.. my web site is still messed up and I have been working non stop at our waterparks this summer… hope to be more active online this fall!
Amazing series of photos. You really capture so much of the behaviors of this very interesting creature.
Well thank you very much Charlie. I greatly appreciate your very kind words and I’m glad you like seeing the alligators in action.
Mr. A certainly knows what he’s doing!
He sure does, he must have known those big fish were in there because it surprised me, and I bet the fish too!
I don’t mind seeing the fish devoured. After all when we fish and keep them, it is not all that much a better sight as they gasp their final breath. I like all animals, but do eat them myself too.
Well it is nature and yes of course the alligators have to eat too. The fish seem to be a primary food source for much of the wildlife including the birds.
I’m not even going to look this poor fish in the eye. 😯 Great capture for Mr A and also for you. 🙂
That eye looked even worse later when it…well, you know.
Thanks for that, Phil. Do you realise that you can go off people? 😉
Legal Disclaimer: The photographer is not responsible for any boorish behavior exhibited by the local wildlife (including humans). 😀
i sure love this action shot
Thanks much I appreciate that!
Have to say I’m just as glad not to see the more gory shots. Yes, it’s part of nature, but not something I’m thrilled to watch.
It can be a hard marsh out there sometimes, especially if you happen to be a primary food source such as a fish. 😯
It’s interesting that the gator appears to do so much of this process by feel rather than sight.
I’ve come to the same conclusion. I will often see an alligator remain motionless for quite a while and I don’t think it is so much looking for fish or a crab but feeling for one. Because suddenly they will lunge out and could be they detected movement of the prey by feel. Plus the water is usually quite muddy after the big guy has been sloshing around in it for a while so visibility can’t be great.
Stunning pictures Phil, this is natures reality.
Thank you Jan and yes it sure is nature’s reality for sure.
That’s how a snack should be. 😉
This alligator seemed quite happy to snag this meal and it caught another fish of equal size while I was there.
How vivid and I wouldn’t want to risk taking his dinner away from him
He catches it, he keeps it. That’s my motto. 🙂
I bet Mr. A. enjoyed that meal!
I’m sure he did and was likely quite full too because I saw him catch another fish that size.
congratulation for this stunning pictures, great work!!!
Have a nice new week,
Thank you for the kind words moni!
FANTASTIC…. a very magic photos
Thank you very much, I’m so glad you liked these!
He looks like “Oh BOY”. Happy. Nice catch for him, and deftly handled (love the series, which shows same!). Really like his eye in the last shot. Says it all.
He seemed very happy with his fresh caught meal. It actually takes him less energy to get one large fish then many small fish so I bet he would wish for this to happen every day.
These pictures hold an awful fascination, Phil! I didn’t want to look but couldn’t help myself! Poor fish! However, as Lucy’s daughter, Thea, says to me in her pragmatic, ten-year-old way, “But Granny, it’s the food chain!” I guess she’s more sensible than me!
Sometimes if you want the plain simple truth I think you need to check with a ten year old. It’s a great age! 🙂
Thanks for checking these out Maggie.
Phil, those shots are amazing!! I’m usually a bit “lukewarm” on gators, but these ones are really engaging. Wow! Well done!
Well I’m glad to hear you are gaining more of an appreciation of our alligator friends, I will have to let him know he has a new fan! 🙂
Wow Phil, those are great shots!!
So glad you like them and I appreciate you looking and commenting!
Oh there was plenty of chomping going on for sure!
The fish certainly didn’t look happy about where he was going.
At least the fish will be able to rest down there.
Imagine the view that fish would have straight down the throat.