By Neo Bye
An intelligent heron used bait placed on the surface of the water before using a lightning quick attack to snap up a fish dinner.
Joseph Anthony was able to capture the entire sequence that the green-backed heron executed in order to grab its next meal.
Captured in Hluhluwe National Park, South Africa, the heron particularly placed the insect lure – either a beetle or grasshopper – on the surface of the water to draw out the fish.
The heron waited patiently and anticipated their time to strike, then in one swift dart into the water they were able to successfully secure the small fish.
The heron enjoyed the success of their hunt and swallowed down the tasty critter.
Joseph said: “The heron will use a variety of insects as a lure but sometimes also uses items like feathers or twigs, then places the lure carefully within striking range and waits motionless.
“Herons and egrets are known to be lightning fast in their fishing technique however using this tool behaviour is rare amongst birds.
“It is extraordinarily complex behaviour.”