A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) foraging on an Atlantic Stingray (Dasyatis sabina) was observed off coastal Mississippi. Although elasmobranchs have been previously reported in the diets of birds, this observation was the first documenting the attack and consumption behavior by a bird on an elasmobranch. The behaviors in the event mirror previous observations of A. herodias attacking large and unwieldy prey items. Consumption of a high trophic-level fish by A. herodias further emphasizes its role as a top predator in shallow marine food webs.
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Vol. 34 • No. 1