Nothing much happened for long minutes as we remained fifteen feet apart watching the light drizzle make little ringlets in the salt marsh ponds. Finally I said, "Dude, you know, I really admire you night-herons, but worry about you starving to death sometimes. At least you conserve energy - mostly when I watch you, you stand. The more I watch, the more you stand. Sometimes you do look down, real exciting stuff!" I winked at him to show I was kidding. "But seriously, how do you ever catch anything standing around like that?"
"Watch," he said. "I'll show you."
And then he stood stock still for a few minutes more, as if to test my patience. But eventually he took a long, slooowwww step towards the water, placing his foot ever so gently. Then another step. "By golly, you can move!" "Shhhhhh," he said, "There are killies under this algae."
. . . and then proceeded to do something that seemed kind of unusual. He inserted his bill through the algae lining the pond, and opened and closed it again, repeatedly. "Attracting fish, or what?" I asked. "Shhhhhh," he said, the words making the water bubble slightly.
fiddler crabs as the most important link between salt marsh productivity and predatory birds.
"Hmmph. Ospreys. They think they're so sexy. . . "
Nature Center of Cape May examined the photo and wrote me, "Hey, Don! That's a type of croaker called a Spot. See that spot above the gill and in between the base of the pectoral fin and the base of the dorsal fin?? Here's more info: http://octopus.gma.org/fogm/Leiostomus_xanthurus.htm .Great shot! That spot is a little guy! like a little goldfish cracker - only he's a little croaker cracker! :)"]