Zenfolio | Steve Creek Wildlife Photography | Great Blue Heron Eating Gar

Great Blue Heron Eating Gar

August 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Here is something I don't see very often, a Great Blue Heron Eating a Gar. I watched this Great Blue Heron eat three of them. I believe this is a Longnose Gar which has an armor of scales and a mouth lined with unbelievably sharp teeth. I am amazed that these birds would go through the trouble of eating one of these much less three of them. If you look close you will see loose feathers from the Great Blue Heron laying near the water. This Gar put up a fight before being eaten. It took several minutes for the Heron to swallow the Gar. Every once in a while it would have to dip the Gar in the water to get it wet to help with swallowing it.


Great Blue Heron Eating A Gar - 20180731-6109Great Blue Heron Eating A Gar - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma


How I Got The Shot - Great Blue Heron Eating Gar

I drove up on this Great Blue Heron just after sunrise on July 31 just as it was swallowing a Gar. This was a heavy foggy morning and I knew any photos taken would not be very good so I just watched. I still had my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens ready on a beanbag. The Heron continued to search for food so I just waited and hoped the fog would lift. A few minutes later it caught another Gar and I did photograph it but it was still foggy and I knew I wouldn't be happy with the photos. I continue to wait and the Great Blue Heron went into the tall grass so I decided to leave and come back later. I was glad I did because I was able to photograph a Barred Owl just as the fog was lifting.

After photographing the Owl I went back to the area where the Great Blue Heron was. I arrived just as it caught another Gar. I was able to get set up and take several photos. I had the exposure mode set at manual with auto ISO and evaluative metering. White Balance was set on auto and I was using single point continuous autofocus. Shutter speed was at 1/400 of a second at ƒ/5.6 with an ISO of 400.


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