January 18, 2013
For nearly two months now, I am treated each morning to the sight of a gathering of great egrets waiting for breakfast. They jostle each other for the best spot along the botanical garden's canal so they can fill their bellies with gizzard shad, a little fish that swims in big crowds. The great egrets are not the only bird with a taste for shad. The great blue heron is also there, but always in solitaire. The cormorants get along with each other better than the egrets do and typically cling together waiting for their opportunity dive in. Hooded mergansers take their share from a floating vantage point. Despite all the potential competition, there seems to be enough shad to go around.