Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This picture was taken at the High Island Rookery, High Island, Texas on March 23rd, 2008. Probably the main reason that all the birds nest on the Island at the Rookery is because there are no predators there. That's because the waters have quite a few alligators so normal predators won't venture out onto the Island. Of course, there is a bit of a price to pay for this protection: any chicks that happen to fall out of the nest are gobbled up within seconds of hitting the ground. However, these chicks that fall probably wouldn't have made it anyway. I saw one Great Egret chick that managed to climb out of the nest and was on the same branch, but about two feet away from the nest. It's Mother completely ignored it and just went about looking after the remaining chicks. I watched for about two hours but the chick was still in the same spot. The next day the chick was gone. This seems very cruel to most of us but I guess this is Mother natures way of doing survival of the fittest. Great Egret chicks can be very aggressive to other chicks where they will peck at smaller chicks to achieve dominance and a larger share of the food. This chick may have been driven out of the nest.

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