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When I left the house this morning to go to the recently reopened Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, it was 17 °F (-8 °C), perhaps too cold for the birds to show up. Sure enough there were not many, and most of them were seagulls that live there throughout the year.

However, just as I was about to leave the refuge, I saw a Great Blue Heron catching a fish for lunch.

Great Blue Heron seeing a fish in the water.

Great Blue Heron seeing a fish in the water.

A quick stab.

A quick stab.

Great Blue Heron came up with a good-sized fish that it had pierced.

Great Blue Heron came up with a good-sized fish that it had pierced.

It turned to me as if to show its catch.

It turned toward me as if to show its catch.

A slightly different angle.

A slightly different angle.

It began eating the fish, much faster than you can imagine.

It began eating the fish, much faster than you can imagine.

Swallowing the fish, less than a second after the previous shot.

Swallowing the fish, less than a minute after it had caught it.

Down it went.

Down the neck it went.

A final shake and swallow.

A final shake and swallow.

Ready for the next one.

Ready for the next one.

All of the above, and some other intervening action, mostly shaking and turning (not displayed here), took less than a minute.

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