While photographing wildlife at Oklahoma’s serene Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, I witnessed an incredible scene – a Great Blue Heron swimming through deep waters on an epic quest to capture its prey. As I watched from the north side of the Sally Jones Causeway, the stately bird silently entered the tranquil pool in search of sustenance.

Great Blue Heron Swimming With A Crappie

Great Blue Heron Swimming With A Crappie

Suddenly, in a lightning fast maneuver, the heron emerged with a large crappie firmly speared in its long, sharp beak. Powerfully paddling through the water, the skilled fisher-bird headed away with its catch in tow. While the ultimate devouring of the fish occurred out of sight, facing away from my camera’s reach, witnessing this graceful hunter swimming with a freshly-caught crappie clamped in its jaws was an extraordinary moment.

The image of the giant heron paddling its aquatic meal through the refuge’s placid pools encapsulates the daily dramas of survival playing out across this serene landscape. My photograph captures a fleeting glimpse into the heron’s world where it must venture into risky territories to satisfy its hunger. As a wildlife photographer, being able to document rare chance encounters between species makes every quiet hour spent waiting and observing in nature intensely rewarding.

While many only see herons wading in shallow waters, this daring feat proves the incredible adaptability of wildlife to procure their next meal, no matter where it may swim. The Great Blue Heron is certainly a master fisher-bird and well deserving of admiration for its hunting prowess across all terrain – both shallow and deep!

Note: This is the same area I photographed a Great Blue Heron Eating A Gar

Image Information:

  • Date: 6/12/20
  • Time: 09:16 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM
  • ISO: 2500
  • Aperture: 6.3
  • Shutter: 1/640
  • Exp. Comp.: +4/3
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Aperture Priority