If you have a romantic view of the natural world you might wish to skip this post.
I trained my lens on a heron rookery recently. I can't get close and it is hard to know just what is going on until I down load the images.
I was able to see that there were chicks in this nest and I could hear them squabbling.
After looking at the images it appears that one chick grabbed the other around the neck.
There also appears to be the limp body of another chick at the lower left side of the nest.
I regret that I couldn't get better images, even if it was possible to get closer I wouldn't have wanted to disturb the nesting birds by moving closer.
The pair continued to squabble and the parent pays little attention. The limp chick does not move.
Then my attention was distracted by a pheasant nearby and I spent 10 minutes photographing the pheasant.
When I returned my attention to the nest, the agressive chick again had a nest mate by the throat but I couldn't be sure if it was the limp one or the other as the limp chick was no longer hanging over the edge.
The aggressive chick tossed the the other one into the corner of the nest
and there it remained as long as we were there. Only now does the parent show any interest in the chicks.
It seems harsh but if parents are unable to feed all of the hatchlings the stronger will out compete the others for food and intimidate or even kill the others. With our dry winter, I suspect that hunting has been difficult and many of the chicks in this rookery will die, some at the beaks of their siblings.
Find more birds at World Bird Wednesday, hosted for us by Springman.