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Great Blue Heron eating Snake

Image # 1D2_07142

Viera Wetlands, near Melbourne, FL


Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 250, f/4, 1/4000 second

Manual Exposure

Gitzo 1329/Arca Swiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

While driving around one of the loops, we saw a car ahead of us pulled over, and a Great Blue Heron in the grass at the side of the road.  Having seen plenty of this species, we thought we'd just drive around them, but as we got closer, we realized that this GBH was trying to eat a snake.  My son identified this as a Florida Water Snake.  In this shot you can see it has the head firmly in its beak.  But not seen here is the fact that its tail-end had knotted itself around some grass, to which it was desperately clinging.  Eventually the GBH pulled the snake completely up, and we could see a clump of vegetation inside the knotted tail of the snake.  They wrestled for a while more, and eventually the GBH flew off, with the snake trailing from its beak, and the grass clump still inside the knotted tail-end of the snake!