Earlier this week the salt marsh was active with many species of wading birds feeding at low tide, including this spoonbill and great blue heron. While the spoonie was very busy moving his spatula shaped bill back and forth through the water in search of food, the heron plucked himself out a nice fish.
If there had been an egret or another blue heron next to him there might have been an issue over who got to eat that fish. But…in this case the spoonbill simply ignored the great blue and it’s catch and continued on hunting for tiny shrimp. Although I have seen spoonbills eat very small fish, they are no competition for a heron and a fish like this, so they can all get along just fine during their evening meal!
Pacifica convivenza tra uccelli. Bellissimi scatti Phil, sono fantastici!!
Grazie mille Pat e sì gli uccelli a volte possono andare d’accordo pacificamente 🙂
I love the reflections off the marsh in this series Phil. Quite beautiful.
Thank you Adrian, the water was picking up some reflection of the late setting sunlight which was getting red at that point.
Very nice, Phil. Love these photos. Much easier to get along (or ignore) when there is no conflict of interest!
Oh absolutely Deb. If one bird is after only tiny fish and the other is only after big fish, everyone gets along great and is happy. It’s when everybody all want the same thing that problems can arise. 🙂
Looks like the fish was giving the GBH a bit of a hard time, flapping around.
That fish was not going along peacefully at all, but of course I can’t blame it. The fish really is about to have a very bad night.
It definitely helps the local harmony when the food sources have distinct boundaries. Nice study, Phil.
Thanks Steve, and yes conflicts arise when everyone is after the same food source and it only gets worse if that source is limited. Some of these guys are more then happy to fly a hundred yards or more to start an argument with another bird that isn’t (in my view) even directly after the exact same food at that time. But so it goes in bird world.
Yeah…but those are my fish for tomorrow so scram, bud. 🙂
Yup that sounds like what’s going on out there for sure! 🙂
I will never tire of looking at your photos 🙂
Well I greatly appreciate you saying that, thank you. 🙂
Just the truth as I see it Phil!
It’s interesting how they all show personality and preferences.
The more time I spend out there the more I begin to recognize and appreciate those traits. That’s half the fun in it!
This is absolutely wonderful, the Spoony and the Heron together in the salt marsh.
I enjoy watching and photographing different species interact. Thanks Jan.
Striking colour in these pictures, Phil! The GBH knows what it is doing, standing near the spoonie stirring up the water!
Oh that’s exactly right Maggie, it’s quite likely the spoonie sent the panicked fish right over to Mr. GBH!
I’m very happy you enjoyed these!
I never realized how often birds steal each other’s fish until I started following your blog. I found out that size is not always the issue on the aggressor too. But I guess bill shape and diet are in this case in addition to size. It must help stealing fish if the bird has a bill shaped like a spear, or can fly like a jet fighter. Your photos are the best always. 😀
Thanks very much for the kind words about my photos I greatly appreciate it. And yes a lot does depend on fishing style and body type. The most dramatic examples of this I see are when a bald eagle will suddenly swoop in out of nowhere to try to steal a fish from a flying osprey, it is quite a sight.
Quite peaceful 🙂 Beautiful photos, Phil!
I’m thrilled you enjoyed these Amy, thanks!
Thank you Hans, I’m glad you liked them!
These two fisher-birds do look very companionable and quite content just doing their own thing, Great pics again, Phil. Love the reflections and the sparkle. 🙂
Presumably they know that there is enough for all. So they have the peace to look any further! That’s nice! Nice like your photos, Phil! 😛