Swallowing a Really Really Really Big Fish

October 3, 2012 at 5:13 am (Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Nature, Photography) (, , , , )

Wood Stork caught an Atlantic needlefish – and swallowed it whole!

I was sitting on the beach at Jekyll Island, Georgia on Monday, and saw a wood stork fishing in the ocean about a quarter mile away.  Not only did I not know the storks fished in saltwater, but I also was amazed that it was quite close to some fellows seining for shrimp.  It wasn’t begging, but was perhaps an opportunist, hoping that the activity would scare up something yummy.  I decided to go for a closer look, and just as I got there this guy/gal caught a fish.  A really really really big fish.


It looked like an eel.  Upon closer inspection, I believe it to be an Atlantic needlefish.  Sharp beak on that baby.  And the wood stork really wants to eat it.  Hmmmm….

Tossing the fish to get it in the right position

It tossed the fish, and turned it, and gummed it, and swallowed it, then brought it back up again and did it all over.

Great egret hopes the stork will share

After awhile a great egret noticed the struggle, and wandered over hoping for a handout.  A gull also waited, but the wait was in vain.  After about 10 minutes the fish finally went down for good.

The feeding stance – feet probe the sandy bottom and the beak is open, ready to clamp down on anything that swims through.

Immediately it went back to fishing for more.  Eesh!

Man seining for shrimp nearby

A well-satisfied wood stork.

Full belly, happy stork



  1. kurt said,

    Great captures!

  2. DesertAbba said,

    Really good pics! Except you need to edit the final frame to include ‘Burrpp!’

  3. bobdouat said,

    Nice Cindy. I’ve never seen a Wood Stork in the wild.

  4. Bob Zeller said,

    Great capture, Cindy. I have never seen a Wood Stork. They are a bit on the ‘ugly’ side, I would say. Really amazing pictures.

  5. Jim Miller said,

    First, great shots all around. This too would be a life list bird for me. I too am amazed at how small their circle of fear is. Wow. Someday I’ll have to get out to your neck of the woods to make some images. Well done.

  6. Big Bird Eats Big Fish - Jekyll Island, Georgia PhotoBotos.com said,

    […]  https://cindymcintyre.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/swallowing-a-really-really-really-big-fish/ […]

  7. raburcke said,

    Reblogged this on Ralphie´s Portal and commented:
    Wonderful picture!

  8. allthingsboys said,

    Nice picture!

  9. philosophermouseofthehedge said,

    Gorgeous pictures of the event. I like the way you got the sequence – and love the one of the two fishing in competition.

  10. Pat Bailey said,

    What fun. You did a great job of helping us experience this event.

  11. kelihasablog said,

    Love the pictures! When I was a teenager (a long time ago) I lived on Jekyll Island… before it became so commercialized, before the water park, when the “Aquarama” was there. LOL I haven’t been back in years. Thanks for the visuals… they bring back memories.. 😀

  12. Cindy McIntyre said,

    Thanks for the comments everyone. It was nice to be featured on PhotoBotos!

  13. Kylw said,

    Great capture! So that huge point pay fish was eventually swallowed whole! I wonder wouldn’t that pointy body damage the storks stomach? Did the fish go down wriggling the whole time as well!? Cool shots! Keep it up! 😉

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