Friday, March 2, 2012

Flurry of Feathers

Last November, Bruce and I spent two wonderful weeks visiting my parents on the beautiful island of Long Boat Key, Florida. One of my favorite places to observe and photograph birds on the key is Quick Point Nature Preserve. This area is known for its abundance of wildlife and pleasing scenic views.
 ~ Snowy Egret ~

One pleasant, breezy morning, while capturing peaceful photographs such as the one above, I was distracted  by a disturbance of splashing water and flapping wings ...

~ Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets ~

With no time to adjust camera settings, I turned around and focused my lens on two Great Egrets squaring off in what seemed to be a territorial dispute.

Oh what a display of loveliness! Downy, white wings aflutter, long, slender necks held regal and proud.

Right out of a scene from a martial arts action movie, a glorious presentation of physical grace and beauty.

 Dodging the fierce airborne onslaught ...

Time to regroup ...

The battle continues ...

A fluttering of feathers and lithesome ballet moves,

only to dissolve in a tangled mess of ungainly legs,

ruffled wings and one wrenched neck.

The altercation endures. A powerful collision occurs, resulting in splash producing face plant.

Surprisingly, both egrets recover well.

The melee rages on ...

The more dominant egret takes to the air and positions itself for a frontal assault.

Might this be enough for the fallen egret?

Not quite yet. The two waders spring aloft and engage in another midair clash.

A jumbled heap of egrets,

necks entwined, legs askew.

Both birds remain on the offensive.

An impressive display of outstretched wings.

Is it possible that this spectacular aerial display might be winding down?

Apparently so. It is now time to step away. Surprisingly, this contentious fracas lasted only 10 seconds long.

I finally exhaled ...

Posted by Julie Gidwitz


  1. incredible Julie. how wonderful for you to see this, but you also captured it stunningly.

  2. An amazing series of photos! I almost felt like I was there (and wished that I had been)

  3. Wonderful pictures....great work.

    greetings from Holland, Joop

  4. I've never seen a fight look so beautiful!

  5. Great reflexes and capture. It had to be exhilarating to watch. Great images. - Jerald

  6. Some great action shots there..........

  7. Wow this very dynamic sequence is very impressive and wonderful! Well done on this display and on the quality of the pictures!

  8. Love the photo sequence and flight pictures!

  9. What an amazing to dispute to capture Julie! Your photos are excellent! I can't believe no one was injured.

  10. Oh, so beautiful pictures. Congratulations!

  11. I shall try this again, I had it just about typed and the whole thing went away. These birds are so majestic anyway, and then add in all of these awesome action shots and what a thrill to view these!!! Fabulous!!!

  12. Hi dear. This photo is very beautiful.

  13. Wow! What incredible action and incredible action shots!!! Great job!

  14. Wow, 10 seconds .. time flies as they say. Really Incredible captures Julie, perfect timing :) My eyes were bulging through the entire post. Wonderful as always.

  15. Really nice series. These are Great Thanks.

  16. This is amazing. I love this site. It is as if the birds are practically a hand away.