In the past month, on my drive home from work, I have watched 3 small mammals get consumed by great egrets.

I’m fairly certain 2 were field mice (Peromyscus spp.) and one was a vole (Microtus spp.).

It amazes me that I can be zipping by at 55 mph and see this little drama play out. It is intense: a cute fuzzy thing with flailing limbs, wriggling for its life in the bright yellow beak of an elegant, serene bird. I never get to see how it ends, but I have a good idea.

I’ve had my hand in the beak of a similar bird a few times, and it always ended with several layers of skin neatly removed from said hand, and much profanity on my part. I’ve got the scars to prove it. I have a feeling the little guys aren’t getting away with just scars.