Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 45 - Little Birds.

Having just survived the tyranny of old age, I seem to be succumbing to a more insidious danger - too much work!  Well at least today anyway.  Normal service will be resumed soon.

These images were taken a while ago, but they show some remarkable behaviour.  These are Little Egrets and Little Black Cormorants hunting together in a shallow pool.  I don't think there is any doubt that the individuals of each species are working together - and it looked very much like the two species were cooperating.

The cormorants would swim along, line abreast pushing (what I assume are) small fish in front of them.  They would surface and turn in towards the shore, often with something in their beaks.  The egrets rushed backwards and forwards, keeping level with the cormorants and picking off food the escaped - or was pushed towards the shore.  All in all it was pretty remarkable - and a situation where I wished I had turned on the video!





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50 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

how very cool! herding fish!

Rajesh said...

Very lovely.

prairiebirder said...

The fish don't stand (swim) a chance with all those fishermen about!

Andrea said...

I have seen similar behavior in the Cormorants. Hundreds of them arrive here with the flocks of Pelicans. They all fish together ... herding as TexWisGirl put it until someone grabs a fish and goes. This goes on for long periods. You don't actually see the Cormorants get the fish because they dive for them ... but you see it when they come up out of the way of the other fishing birds who might want to steal their catch. I think man could learn a lot from nature if he paid attention ... if he were less focused on self and greed. We will learn some day, probably the hard way. Anyway, love the pictures, Stewart. They say a lot about your powers of observation ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

DeniseinVA said...

Great post Stewart!

Rustic Vintage Country said...

Synchronised swimming with a mission!

Nora at Island Rambles said...

looks like nature cooperates more than humanity does...we see a lot of cooperation here in our seabirds also.

Findlay Wilde said...

Sorry I have missed a few weeks but I have had my SATS exams. I really enjoyed the Egrets, we get them on Frodsham Marsh sometimes. From Findlay

i stora drag said...

So nice to see this! A lot of egrets (I've only seen one once!) that get help with the fishing! Lovely photos, Stewart!
Greetings Pia

HansHB said...

A great serie of photos. I do like to see the egrets!

Harley Wilde said...

The Cormorants look a bit like snakes sticking out of the water.

Gary said...

Great series; hard to believe the co-operation.Sort of gives lie to the term "bird-brained". Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Richard Pegler said...

Amazing behaviour, beautifully captured, Stewart. Thank you for sharing this with us.

thewovenspoke said...

Beautiful shots that capture an amazing partnership.

Carole M. said...

that's really quite comical; I have seen them foraging closeby to one another before but never in such numbers as this. You would expect they'd have emptied out that pond in a flash..........

Marcia said...

That is really remarkable. Don't know if I've ever heard of two species working together like that. Thanks for the insight.

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post Stewart...

Brian King said...

How cool! Nothing like some teamwork to benefit all! Even better that it involved two different species.

Tina´s PicStory said...

great shots! :)

Karen said...

Great to see birds in their natural environment, they are fascinating to watch, have a great day.

mick said...

Great to get photos of such interesting bird inter-action - even without the video!

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, wonderful sighting and photos of the egrets and cormorants. It is cool to watch the birds and their inter-action. Thanks for sharing and for hosting. Have a great week!

Faye said...

A real tag team effort to everyone's satisfaction. And you're right, Stewart. Would have been cool to see this on video. To quote Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?" :-)

grammie g said...

Hi Stewart... I actually had to chuckle at the action here!!
Very excellent timing with this photo!!
Grace

Karen said...

If only we humans could co-operate as nicely with each other!

pattisjarrett said...

Interesting mix of birds you have here, Stewart. They all seem to be buddies.

Pieni Lintu said...

Great shots! :)

Small City Scenes said...

They seem to get along fine and working and eating together. We all should take lessons maybe. MB

Gunilla Bäck said...

A very interesting series!

Timur said...

Cool photos !! :)

Greetings Timur

Arija said...

Interesting to see the birds working together like that. One could wish for that sort of co-operation between humans as well.

Kerri said...

That is so cool! I think humans could learn a lot from those birds :)

Pete Shanley said...

What a great observation! I've seen pairs of birds operate in this way (eg spoonbill & egret - link to post below if interested) but not entire teams!

http://petesflap.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/teamwork-at-lake-yambuk.html

trav4adventures said...

Ha! You're doing little birds and I saw a vulture last weekend and posted photos of it!
Cheers!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Carletta said...

What a wonderful thing to have seen Stewart. Nature is filled with wonders if we stop to look. So glad you stopped to look. :)

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

That must've been really cool to watch. They sure know how to work together! I'd have loved to watch that on video. Next time! :)

Sharon Wagner said...

Relating to your comment last week, I would love to visit Australia! I wouldn't even know where to begin with my bird watching, sight seeing and snorkeling. It is on the bucket list for sure. Nice little birds this week.

Ken Schneider said...

Our cormorants here in our small lake in Florida usually hunt singly, but they do attract the herons when they forage near the shore. I have seen groups of pelicans and also mergansers herd schools of fish to trap them along the shore, and egrets and other herons join the feast.

Gillian Olson said...

Remarkable behaviour, great series.

Gillian Olson said...

Remarkable behaviour, great series.

edenhills said...

How neat to see!

DIMI said...

Great post Stewart!I like Cormorants birds!Great captures!Have a lovely day!
Dimi..

Chris Rohrer said...

Very artsy shot between the two birds. It's almost like a dance:)

Kateri said...

My first thought when I saw the photos before I read the text is that it looks like a choreographed dance. Pretty amazing!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I am late once again...make it per usual for my life as it is these days. What a grand piece you have shared Stewart, Nature has such incredible secrets, just awaiting us to arrive, and it looks as though you were right on time...impressive~

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Always love to see two species working together like that!

Shey said...

Shows an awesome teamwork between these 2 species. Amazing sighting!

Anna said...

Such a beautiful post, Stewart!
Have a nice weekend and greetings,
Anna

Wally Jones said...

Great encounter, Stewart!
Nature continues to amaze me.
Sorry I've been remiss in posting to Wild Bird Wednesday, lately.
Life keeps interfering!

-Hope your weekend is great!

Wally

Linda said...

Excellent shots! Interesting behavior - thanks for sharing.