Drama In The Marsh

Yesterday afternoon these two egrets surprised me by engaging in some particularly serious fighting in the marsh. One aggressive egret swooped in and jumped on the other, trying to stand on it’s back and shove the poor guy under the water. To make matters worse, there was an alligator gliding through the water right behind them as this battle was taking place!  Lucky for the egrets, the gator ignored the action and just kept right on going on his merry way.

If you look closely at shots five and six, you may be able to see yet another young alligator in the lower left that comes in to investigate the situation. Although this caused the egrets even further agitation, finally they were able to separate and could now safely go on about their business.

Feathers and egos were clearly quite ruffled though!

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

Egret Fight in the Marsh Pond

41 thoughts on “Drama In The Marsh

  1. Phil, I always see you new wild life images come across my screen. Each one is so awesome. You do great work. In this one I love the dangerous dance of the birds with each other and the water.

    • It almost did happen exactly like that! Our electronically tuned in egret friend Radar came zipping over as the fight progressed. I thought at first he just wanted to watch but turned out he wanted to chase off the other egrets.
      The nearby alligators had great seats for all the action though!

  2. Wow! Impressive 🙂 I’ve seen the male swan on my closest stretch of the canal really lay into another young male who wandered into their territory. He chased him all the way up onto the road and then pinned him down with his body whilst biting his neck. This looks like the same sort of territorial behaviour that often happens during breeding seasons. Fabulous series of photographs 🙂

  3. Stunning shots Phil! Luckily the fight didn’t end badly. That alligator looked like he was waiting for dinner. 😀

  4. That is some serious action. I felt bad for the poor guy being shoved under! Good thing the alligator didn’t want a larger meal at that time, so as to “lead by example”, as the younger one might have joined in. The egret with the upper hand must be super territorial, or just not like the other guy. It looked like the bottom guy barely got away! :/

    • I don’t think I ever saw an egret jam another one down into the water like that. I was rather surprised.
      It’s hard to tell, but in photos 5-7 that young alligator is lunging right toward the egret victim. Not sure if it was just going for a fish though. I didn’t even realize those gators were right there until I looked at the photos later.

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