On a dull day recently I found a juvenile Striated Heron out hunting along the edge of tidal Tallow Creek at Byron Bay. It was very intent on chasing small fish and shrimp, both from the shore and in the water.
|The bird often adopted a low stance while looking intently at the water.|
|Crossing the water to hunt on the other side.|
|Standing in the water to hunt.|
|Poised to strike at a small shrimp.|
|They look to have no neck?|
|When they lunge at a fish their surprisingly long neck stretches out.|
The sharp bill shoots forward and is retracted so quickly that it is almost impossible to see the neck unless it is captured with a photo.
|In a cropped version of the above photo a small shrimp can be just seen jumping from the water to the right of the bill.|
|Another lightning-fast lunge.|
While the Heron spent time chasing small fish it also managed to pluck a good number of shrimp from the water.
At times the young Heron stopped briefly to preen and scratch.
|A brief preen or search for a parasite perhaps?|
After observing the Heron for about fifteen minutes we left the bird still absorbed in the hunt along the tidal shoreline.