In a world where the natural environment is usually categorized as land or water, a swamp manages to be both. Deer and ducks, mink and mollusks, dogwoods and cattails all coexist in a rich tapestry of life.
We set this camera up on a stripe of water in one such wetland which, on account of the dry summer, wasn’t very wet at all. Because of the drought, the animal life in the area was funneled toward the water in the main channel. Over the span of three days we got pictures of muskrats and both painted and snapping turtles, but our favorite series of photos was of this immature green heron.
These small herons are relatively common birds, but we don’t often see them, at least not as commonly as we see their big, blue cousins. Green herons haunt wetland edges, waiting patiently for prey to wander by. According to our resident bird expert Bryan Pfeiffer, they sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait, then snatch them with their dagger-like bills.
The motion-sensing camera was set on a 10-second delay and it only took 29 images over the span of 53 minutes – affirmation that herons spend a lot of time standing very, very still. We did get a cool action sequence of the heron taking a quick bath, though. And a minnow meeting his unfortunate end. Here are the choice pics.