I recently had the pleasure of encountering the same Great Blue Heron for the third time at Horton Slough in Oklahoma’s Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. This majestic bird has apparently claimed this fishing spot as its regular haunt.

As with my previous two sightings of this heron documented in my posts Great Blue Heron Catching Shad In Horton Slough and “Capturing The Grace Of A Great Blue Heron At Horton Slough,” I found the bird standing sentinel, focused on snatching fish from the waters near the bridge by the Horton Slough Trail parking area.

Great Blue Heron Under Water

Great Blue Heron Under Water

The heron seems unbothered by my presence across the water, allowing me to photograph it without disturbance. This time, I witnessed an impressive sight as the heron snapped up two shad at once in its long beak. However, it promptly dropped the front fish back into the water. After downing the first shad, the agile hunter was able to swiftly recapture the second one.

Great Blue Heron Pulling Two Shad From The Water

Great Blue Heron Pulling Two Shad From The Water

With clear skies overhead this day, I was fortunate to have ideal lighting to capture the scene at a fast enough shutter speed to photograph the heron’s rapid movements. The higher ISO I had to use did result in some undesirable noise due to my camera limitations, but overall I’m pleased with the action sequence documenting this feat of nature.

Great Blue Heron Pulling Two Shad In Its Beak

Great Blue Heron Pulling Two Shad In Its Beak

As a wildlife photographer, encountering the same creatures across various encounters allows me to showcase interesting behaviors over time. I find it immensely fulfilling to document this Great Blue Heron and its prowess as a fisherman within its natural habitat along the wetlands. I look forward to keeping up with this beautiful bird’s hunting antics on future trips to the refuge.

Image Information: First Image

  • Date: 12/31/19
  • Time: 08:47 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
  • ISO: 3200
  • Aperture: 5.6
  • Shutter: 1/1000
  • Exp. Comp.: -0.7
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Aperture Priority