Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of snakes meet their end at the end of a beak, but the other week in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Olympia, WA, I saw a first. A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) I was stalking in at the edge of a flooded wetland started doing a very strange movement I’d never seen in all my years of wildlife photography all across North America. It was a rapid, frantic side-to-side movement, then a sudden stab into the grasses, followed by the retrieval of a large garter snake.

Dinner for One

A Great Blue Heron Catches a Northwestern Garter Snake

~ click on image to enlarge ~

I’ve seen many dozens of wood storks aggressively catch and devour snakes over the years, but this frantic back-and-forth attack strategy had me completely confounded. Had I not already been photographing this beautiful bird, I would have missed this shot, which immediately after I pressed the shutter-release, it flew a short distance away and swallowed its catch whole.

After getting the image on my computer and blowing up the image, I was able to identify the snake as a northwestern garter snake (Thamnophis ordinoides).

So sorry this post took far too long in getting out… I’ve been busy with a lot of commercial product photo shoots in Seattle and still very busy with my master naturalist training and education in Bellevue….

                                                                                          

Sharing and commenting via the social media links below helps me greatly, and is much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Rich Leighton
April 24, 2014
ALL IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR PRINT OR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!
©2014 Leighton Photography & Imaging

New Photo! A Great Blue Heron Catches a Northwestern Garter Snake

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Brand New Photo & Post! A Great Blue Heron Catches a Northwestern Garter Snake

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Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of snakes meet their end at the end of a beak, but the…

Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of snakes meet their end at the end of a beak, but the other week in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Olympia, WA, I saw a first. A great blue heron (Ardea herodias)I was stalking in at the edge of a flooded wetland started doing a very strange movement I’d never seen in all my years of wildlife photography all across North America. It was…

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This is what I’ve been working on most of today…. as much as I love doing commercial photography, this is what most of it really looks like. I’m very happy with the clean backgrounds and sharpness. Ready for web, advertising and marketing campaigns.#commercialphotography #professionalphotography   #Seattle

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FInally finished with work! Yay!

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“Documentary photographers make visual sense of current thinking.” - Val Williams #quotes

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"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." - Henry David Thoreau #quotes

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"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." - Henry David Thoreau #quotes

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Baby Great Horned Owl Rescue! (Where I was Four Years Ago) - Leighton Photography & Imaging http://ow.ly/w7yaf

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Baby Great Horned Owl Rescue! (Where I was Four Years Ago) - Leighton Photography & Imaging http://ow.ly/w7yaf

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4 Best Practices for Wedding and Event Photography | Virtual Photography Studio - Photography Business Resources for photographers http://ow.ly/vUq0W

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David Byrne gets Alzheimer’s….

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