One of the ways I like to tell the story of the animals of Ridgefield is by showing what they eat. One particular challenge with the herons and egrets and bitterns is that, although I’ve photographed them with voles and frogs and snakes and salamanders and even earthworms, I’ve struggled with an extremely common source of food: the tiny little fish that live in the shallows of the lakes and ponds.
The problem is that the little fish are hardly visible at the tip of the long bills of these large birds, especially when viewed at web resolutions, as demonstrated above by a great egret plucking a small fish from Long Lake. A couple of times I’ve been more fortunate, however, such as the bittern below at Bull Lake who not only caught a fish in front of me, but the fish’s red face and blue eyes help it stand out at the tip of the bittern’s bill.
And then there was the great blue heron in the last two pictures, a bird I photographed on several occasions at Bower Slough, where I could not only get a nice close shot, but also set the fish against the reddish background of the duckweed.
A small story, but an important one.