Lizard hunting

I have often watched herons and egrets stalk fish or frogs along a lake shore but have never seen one hunt for prey on land.  The technique is much the same, but there is an important difference in the approach.

This Great Egret was hunting small Anolis lizards along the rocky outcrops on the top of a cliff.

This Great Egret was hunting small Anolis lizards along the rocky outcrops on the top of a cliff.

The bird walks slowly with its neck very outstretched, often vertical, until it spies a lizard basking on one of the rocks.  Then it begins to rock its neck slowly back and forth in a sinuous curve, slowly lowering its head, until finally close enough to make a grab (Sorry, but the fence obscured my photos of all of this).

One of many Anolis lizard species, about 3inches in length.

One of many Anolis lizard species in Puerto Rico, this one about 3inches in length.

This particular Egret enjoyed several tasty lizard bites before moving on to other hunting grounds.

Its graceful, upward flight allowed me to get several photos as it flew off.

Its graceful, upward flight allowed me to get several photos as it flew off.

Great EgretGreat Egret

8 thoughts on “Lizard hunting

  1. Wonderful shots of the egret in flight (and fascinating information about hunting on land). I am glad that you explained the technique,because I am used to seeing egrets striking the water with a lot of force, an approach that would be painful with solid ground.

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