Survival of the Fittest

Photographing the natural world can bring some surprises and if you watch your subject long enough, some great insight into the ethos of the wild.  This week I was lucky to photograph a Great Blue Heron catching a fish in a very small, duck-weed filled, mucky water hole in Fakahatchee Strand, located in Southwestern Florida.  Not a small feat considering it’s the drought season in Florida and two Alligators were fishing the same 700 sq. ft. water hole!  Knowing a Red Shouldered Hawk was watching, I prepared for the action that was about to ensue.

A Red Shouldered Hawk, the most well known bird of prey in the Everglades decided that he could intimidate the Great Blue into serving up breakfast.  And so the visual story unfolds in this series of still images.  You may not be able to discern it but the Hawk was injured by the Heron’s sharp beak – the same beak that stabbed the fish.  After it was all over, I saw the hawk fly, but only into cover.  Perhaps it licked its wounds after breakfast.

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