A squirrel was just hanging out on an Alabama tree limb, minding its own business, in the wake of Hurricane Sally. Then what should come paddling up through the muddy floodwaters but a great blue heron.
The heron made a beeline for the squirrel, which continued to sit calmly on the branch. As the heron drew closer, the squirrel did not attempt any evasive maneuvers. Big mistake.
Watch what happened next here:
Great Blue Heron Eats a Wide Range of Species
The great blue heron is the largest heron in North America. It is highly adaptable, flourishing in waters ranging from the coastline of southern Alaska to subtropical swamps to the floodwaters of Alabama, according to Audubon.
The heron’s diet is adaptable and wide-ranging. Its mainstay is fish, but it also chows down on frogs, salamanders, turtles snakes, rodents, other birds and insects. Herons have even been spotted going after voles and gophers.
As you can see in the video above, the heron snatches its prey by striking suddenly and with lethal speed. The birds hunt by day and by night, and in addition to hunting in shallow waters, they also forage on shore occasionally.
Hurricane Sally Caused Historic Flooding
Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama in the early hours of Sept. 16, 2020. From the western Florida Panhandle to southern Alabama, there was heavy rain, flooding and a bevy of tornado warnings, per Weather.gov.
The hurricane started out as a tropical wave off the eastern Bahamas that Sept. 9. By Sept. 11, it had become a tropical depression. It gathered speed as it moved toward the Gulf coast, but was disorganized and moderately sheared, according to the National Ocean Service. By the time it made landfall, it was in slow motion, which led to historic flooding throughout the Florida Panhandle and Southern Alabama.
With river levels at record highs, Sally eventually grew into a Category 2 storm. Its most serious damage came in the form of a collapsed bridge, the Three Mile Bridge, which links Pensacola to Gulf Breeze, the Pensacola News Journal reported. Multiple barges near the bridge also broke free, with at least nine barges floating in Pensacola Bay after Sally made landfall.
Thousands of residents in Florida and Alabama lost power in the storm. And the flash flooding also impacted thousands of people and animals – among them the heron and that poor slow-moving squirrel. But that’s nature for you.