“Everyone has to eat.” Lots of folks I meet at the swamp say this as we watch nature’s stories unfold, but they don’t want to see the birds be lunch. Birds that fly low over the Alligators may get snatched, chicks sometimes fall out of the nest or get pushed out by a more aggressive bird, and then there are those that are in the water on purpose, including Ducks and Anhinga.
This Alligator had his sights on an Anhinga that was swimming looking for his own lunch. With the duckweed cover over the water they must search based on their prey’s movement –there can’t be much light getting through.
He started out with a dash, legs churning the water. Then he plunged, stirring up the duckweed, looking a bit like a pea soup explosion. There is no doubt these creatures can move with speed when they want.
After a lengthy time submerged he popped back up and floated in place. I did not see the Anhinga again, nor any chewing so I’m thinking the bird got away.
Then a turtle swam by with just his head sticking up and the Alligator followed him to the trunk of this tree. The turtle disappeared around the back of the tree, seemingly unaware of his follower or perhaps incapable of doing anything about it.
When I left the spot the Alligator had turned to have a view of the nearby tree with multiple Anhinga and Egret nests–just in case.