I was able to capture an interesting wildlife moment yesterday at the Sally Jones West Causeway in the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I photographed this Great Egret catching what appears to be a Bluegill sunfish from the shallow water.

Great Egret Catches a Bluegill at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Great Egret Catches a Bluegill at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

This is the first time I’ve seen a Great Egret catch anything other than shad at this refuge. Great Blue Herons are well known for catching all types of fish, but Great Egrets tend to stick to shad. Seeing this egret with a bluegill in its beak was a special treat.

The Sally Jones West Causeway is my favorite spot to photograph egrets and herons fishing. With the water levels low on the southern side of the causeway, fish are concentrated in small areas, making for great hunting opportunities for these large birds.

I captured this shot from the side of the auto tour road, with my truck window open and camera resting on a bean bag. I used my Fujifilm X-T3 with a Canon EF 100-400 mm lens and Fringer adapter. The lens’ image stabilization allowed me to handhold this shot at 1/1200 sec shutter speed.

Here are the key camera settings used:

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f8
  • ISO: 1250
  • Shutter speed: 1/1200 sec
  • -1.3 exposure value
  • Focal Length: 400 mm

It’s rewarding moments like this that make wildlife photography so fun and fulfilling. I feel lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to photograph this great egret’s bluegill catch. Let me know if you have any other questions about the photo or my camera setup!

Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer