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Great Blue Heron (Eating A Snapping Turtle)

Ardea herodias


Series: I observed, for nearly 15 minutes, this Great Blue Heron and smaller-sized Snapping Turtle battle it out, if that's what you can call it, in the shallow area of a pond. The heron kept picking it up and dropping it, in what looked to be attempts to get the turtle in just the right position to be able to swallow it whole. However, the turtle, which was at a complete disadvantage, did seem to fight back, snapping at the herons tongue from the end of its long beak (seen in a couple of the photos). Unfortunately for the turtle, the bird's persistence won... and the heron walked away with quite a lump in its long throat (also seen in a photo).


Freshwater Pond


According to the University of Michigan's BioKIDS,, "Great blue herons' diet consists of mainly fish, but also includes frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes, young birds, small mammals, shrimp, crabs, crayfish, dragonflies, grasshoppers and many aquatic invertebrates. Herons locate their food by sight and usually swallow it whole. Herons have been known to choke on prey that is too large."

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maplemoth662 a year ago

Six, remarkable, and amazing photos....each of these six photos, are a masterpiece, of beauty, color, and action....

maplemoth662 a year ago

Six, very beautiful, portrait photos....six, very beautiful, action photos....

triggsturner 3 years ago

Congrats Joseph on your SOTW. Swallowing a live snapping turtle makes that heron a whole lot braver than me! ;)

SukanyaDatta 3 years ago

Fantastic series. Very well-deserved SOTW...the last shot is priceless!

Joseph R. Godreau
Joseph R. Godreau 3 years ago

Thank you Ashley and Daniele... and for all the other nice complements.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 3 years ago

Nicely done, Joseph!

James McNair
James McNair 3 years ago

Congrats Joseph. Our local news just posted a video of a Great Blue Heron eating a young American Alligator

Amazing Shots! Great Series! Congratulations Joseph!

armadeus.4 3 years ago

Congratulations Joseph!!! Seriously awesome series. Great info and thank you for sharing :)

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 3 years ago

Fantastic series! Congrats.

DanielePralong 3 years ago

Congratulation Joseph, this epic series is our undisputed Spotting of the Week!


Desmond.E.S.O 3 years ago

Simply amazing! huge congrats! That Heron's got some really bad strep throat from what I can tell in the last photo...

AshleyT 3 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Hema 3 years ago


Joseph R. Godreau
Spotted by
Joseph R. Godreau

Michigan, USA

Lat: 42.30, Long: -83.66

Spotted on Sep 30, 2016
Submitted on Feb 10, 2017

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