Tag Archives: Feeding

Green Heron, On The Hunt

I’ve often spotted a Green Heron in this patch of reeds; a walking path winds along the edge of a pond providing an interesting, if dark, view of their hunting behavior.

Green Heron Hunting
Green Heron Hunting

These herons don’t have any problem snagging a snack from this duckweed covered water.

Green Heron Hunting
Green Heron Hunting

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what’s lurking around below the surface.

Green Heron Hunting
Green Heron Hunting

Here’s a wider view of this Green Heron’s hunting territory. Beyond these reeds the water opens up into a pond.

Green Heron Hunting
Green Heron Hunting

Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Over Time

I first saw this Black and Yellow Garden Spider on August 16th. I actually noticed the zig-zag stabilimentum first.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider, August 16

His web was hanging out over a pond, suspended between some shrubs and grass.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider, August 16

I passed the same spot about 45 minutes after the first image; it had clouded over changing the look of the water but the spider hadn’t moved.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider, August 16

On September 6th the spider in the same spot, and this time with a dragonfly for lunch.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider, September 6

The last time I visited this location, September 13, the spider was still there. His web was showing some signs of wear, and he had something wrapped up in a sack.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider, September 13

Flying By With Lunch

Gulls and terns were snagging lunch out of the pond and flying off to eat it on a recent gorgeous blue-skyed day.

Tern Flying with Fish
Common Tern Flying with Fish

The gulls will try to steal another bird’s catch so a successful hunter will quickly move on to a safer spot to eat.

Tern Flying with Fish
Tern Flying with Fish

Most of the catching was on the other side of the pond, swooping away from me.

Tern Catching Fish
Tern Catching Fish

This tern opted to fly low with his catch.

Common Tern Flying with Fish
Common Tern Flying with Fish

While a gull took off higher before disappearing over the marsh.

Gull Flying with Fish
Laughing Gull Flying with Fish

August 4, 2020

School’s Out

I became aware of the water’s surface moving as I watched a Green Heron fly away.

Bugs? No.

Tidal Inlet
Tidal Inlet

Then, wham a school of fish exploded out of the water.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

Fortunately for me they repeated this frenzy multiple times.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

One or two much larger fish seemed to be pursuing the smaller ones.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

The smaller ones must have been getting their own lunch, because they kept coming back when they very easily could have swam back down the creek.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

The brick and stone work supports a culvert under a dike that controls water flow into the main pond at Magnolia Cemetery.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

This creek is tidal, about 1/2 mile (0.8 KM) as the crow flies to the Cooper River, just west of Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge.

Swallow-tailed Kite

We’ve been seeing a few Swallow-tailed Kites around, including one flying over our house last week, so I wasn’t surprised to spot a group of 10 or 15 circling over one of the marshes this morning.

Swallow-tailed Kite Feeding
Swallow-tailed Kite Feeding Midair

These raptors feed by snatching insects, often dragonflies, out of the air or off their perch on a tree or reed.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Their flight skills are just amazing and they make full use of their tail and wings to swoop and dive.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite, Insect in Claw

A mix of Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, and few terns were working this area.

Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, Gulls
Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, Gulls

Barred Owl With Lizard for Lunch

This Barred Owl sat quietly with his catch, a Five-lined Skink, a common lizard in South Carolina.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl with Skink

After squeezing it with his beak for a bit he transferred it to his talon. You can see the tail dangling below the branch in this next image.

Barred Owl with Skink
Barred Owl with Skink

I didn’t see any sign of life in the lizard, but the owl kept a firm hold for six or seven minutes before flying off with it.

Barred Owl with Skink
Barred Owl with Skink

White-eyed Vireo with Worm

White-eyed Vireos are a fast, elusive song bird.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

This one was intent on food. He picked a worm off a leaf and flew down to an open branch to eat it.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

But first he beat it a few times.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

I’ve seen song birds gather a stack of worms or insects¬† in their beak and thought he might be rendering this one ready for a flight to a nest.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

No, this one was for him.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

One gulp and it was gone.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

Dragonfly, Back Yard

I’m not sure why dragonflies bother with these hard shelled insects, not sure just what they are.

Dragonfly With Snack
Dragonfly With Snack

They are pretty small and I think the dragonfly was having a hard time getting it down, chewing and chewing.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

Our back yard has hosted a variety of dragonflies this summer.¬† They take advantage of a few fallen branches I’ve left in the corner.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly