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Old Jan 22, 2010, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Predator in the Pond (long thread)

As the first of the series of storms approached, we had a visitor to out back yard pond - in deep shade, of course. It evidently thought it had found a good thing - a pond full of Gambusia (Mosquito fish) all to itself. It must belong to the Snowy Egret colony that I profiled some time ago nesting and roosting in the little city park down the street, because it had no fear of people - bold as brass it was. K7 and the Tamron 70-300 LD. Terrible lighting, but at least the whites didn't blow out too badly in the shade.

It paid me no attention and went about its business until I got too close, and then it walked off and we played hide and seek around a clump of vegetation, before it flew up on the roof, where it felt safe, until I ran it off and went back inside.

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Old Jan 22, 2010, 10:44 PM   #2
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I looked out the window a few minutes later and it was back, so I decided to get some more pictures, and we repeated the scenario.

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Old Jan 22, 2010, 10:48 PM   #3
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I finally decided to run it off for good, as it was running out of fish to catch, and we need them to keep down the mosquito population. When I looked out the window later, it was back again, doing a lot of looking, but not much catching.

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And it came back again the next morning, too. But the first of the storms began and it left, hopefully for good.
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Old Jan 24, 2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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penolta,

This is the greatest of series. How nature developed such specialized beings. Do you know how the yellow feet developed. What is/has been their function

//T
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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penolta,
This is the greatest of series. How nature developed such specialized beings. Do you know how the yellow feet developed. What is/has been their function
//T
Thanks, Torgny. Glad you found it interesting.

In answer to your questions, Snowy egrets employ a variety of foraging techniques, one of which is called "foot stirring," in which the bird rapidly pokes around in the bottom with one foot to scare out hidden fish - when they swim across the yellow feet, they are more visible and can be captured. This is what the bird in #8 was doing the instant before I snapped the shutter, as you can tell from the rings on the water around its leg.

This picture is from a thread I posted some time ago in this Forum on foraging techniques (it is also my desktop wallpaper photo) and which illustrates foot-stirring particularly well:

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Old Jan 25, 2010, 11:01 AM   #6
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Excellent.
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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Excellent.
Thanks, Ordo. I appreciate the comment.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 7:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penolta View Post
Thanks, Torgny. Glad you found it interesting.

In answer to your questions, Snowy egrets employ a variety of foraging techniques, one of which is called "foot stirring," in which the bird rapidly pokes around in the bottom with one foot to scare out hidden fish - when they swim across the yellow feet, they are more visible and can be captured. This is what the bird in #8 was doing the instant before I snapped the shutter, as you can tell from the rings on the water around its leg.

This picture is from a thread I posted some time ago in this Forum on foraging techniques (it is also my desktop wallpaper photo) and which illustrates foot-stirring particularly well:

Attachment 147714

penolta,

Thanks for the additional image. Well, wether you're a scientist or a creationist (very rare over here) it's a fantastic fact that the light feet make it easier to find and catch food

Nature photo at it's best, far away from the disneyficationary anthropomorphisms

//T

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Old Jan 31, 2010, 5:31 PM   #9
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Lovely display of this fine looking bird! #2 just made me smile so much - I was reminded of Bambi in the headlights!! Well done. Cheers, Dan
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 12:45 PM   #10
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Thanks Torgny, and Dan for the (additional) comments. It was an amusing episode. I have had other visitors there, but none let me get so close.
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