Animal food chain?

Visiting a beach at the ocean, I recently saw a Great Blue Heron dive and catch quite a spiky/large (and colorful! I think it was called a sculpin) crosswise in it s bill. It appeared, potential meal was fighting hard to prevent becoming the determined bird s dinner. This fish had to be a little over a foot in length, quite thick, and plenty of spiky fins! Still, within about a minute the heron had it face-first and then gulped the thing thrashing the whole way down it’s long neck!! It was a bit gruesome to watch the climax... I thought it was finally over, but once in the gullet/stomach you could see the fish strongly kicking much to the discomfort (it appeared) to the bird! We didn t hang around for much longer. I wonder if that was the end for the fish or if the heron had won its meal?? Still, wouldn’t the sculpin stand any slim chance of escaping or even damaging (thrashing, sharp fins, biting, etc.) the bird s insides if eaten in that condition?? I imagine the herons elastic/stretchy insides could possibly work against itself, giving the fish a chance to turn around? It must be a some meal for the heron and I wonder if it handles it bones and all as well?! Thanks!


Nature can be cruel


The fish had no chance. BTW, I suspect that it was a sea robin, rather than a sculpin.


Nature is very cruel at times, but I'd be pretty sure the Heron would prevail. It's like my large bird population (sparrows mainly) which have, now the Starling have returned for the Winter, lost out on their exclusive feeding station. I wish I could feed only the smaller birds, but I suppose the bigger ones, who probably need more in any case, are as entitled to the food as the smaller ones are. Fish eating birds normally know how to disable their food before swallowing it....... presumably this Heron had a bit to learn!!