Predator-Prey Relationships

“Eat or be eaten” is perhaps the most fundamental law of nature. Predator-prey relationships can change suddenly: one minute a predator, such as a frog, is hunting for its next meal; next minute the frog becomes the prey and is a meal for another predator, such as a bird, higher on the food chain.

The following time-series of photographs, shown in reverse chronological order, features a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) preying upon a frog in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park on 04 August 2014.

Green Heron (eating a frog)

Photo 4. Down the hatch!

Green Heron (eating a frog)

Photo 3. Frogs are easier to swallow head first.


Photo 2. Gotcha!

Green Heron (eating a frog)

Photo 1. Going in for the kill.

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Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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5 Responses to “Predator-Prey Relationships”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Awesome action sequence. It’s tough to get unobstructed shots of Green Herons, because of their small size and tendency to hang out among the weeds at water’s edge, but your images captured the heron’s hunt wonderfully.

  2. Christy Says:

    Wow! I hadn’t seen these photos before. Excellent capture.

  3. Kyle Dig Says:

    Nice blog and amazing capture! That looks like decent-sized frog putting up some fight here! But in the end the bird was able to win the battle and gulp that whole thing down okay really?? It seems like it would have trouble fitting down that long/skinny neck. Also, if actually eaten, does the unlucky prey get swallowed kicking all the way as well?!

    • waltersanford Says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Kyle. Welcome to my blog! I’m curious — how did you discover this post so long after it was published?

      • Kyle Says:

        Just stumbled across your neat blog again! I actually “google searched” it and not by the newest stuff posted. I am actually a younger student with a interest in biology.

        It’s hard for me to grasp and understand, but I am curious of this awesome event you captured?

        Nice other stuff too, keep it up! 😉

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