Bird Eats Alligator

Yes, you read that right.

Typically when alligators encounter birds, it’s a one sided fight… and not usually in favor of the latter.

But one great blue heron in Florida spectacularly flipped that narrative this week when it was spotted swallowing a large juvenile — whole.

The amazing encounter was captured by wildlife photographer Shellie Gilliam at the Florida Wildlife & Exotic Animal Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Center, where she works.

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“YES, A bird can eat an alligator!” she wrote on Facebook. “This Savage Great Blue Heron spent a half hour killing and consuming a large juvenile Alligator near Lake Apopka.

It may have taken 30 minutes to kill the reptile, but the bird made very short work of eating it; the fascinating video shows the predator grab the gator by the neck and giving it a vicious shake, before cocking its head back and swallowing the unfortunate youngster.

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“I spotted it just after it had captured the alligator a few hundred yards away and then it flew with the alligator in his mouth to this spot where he consumed it,” Shellie wrote. “Just Wow! I posted my photos too.”

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Indeed the snapper had grabbed a stunning set of seven stills of the unlikely encounter.

The Great blue heron is common to wetlands and coasts of North America, and can grow up to 4.5 ft tall, and a wingspan of over 6.5 ft.

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While their diet primary consists of small fish, using its long sharp beak to either grab or spear them in the water, they are opportunistic feeders who will eat a wide range of shrimp, crabs, insects, frogs, ducklings, mice and — apparently — alligators.

They almost always swallow their food whole and have been known to choke to death attempting to eat prey that is too large… as you can see.

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