2023—Mission Accomplished

This young male Snail Kite was a very efficient snail hunter. Time and time again, we watched as he made a reconnaissance flight over the snail beds. Flying slowly with wings stretched out, he would zero in on a snail and keeping his eyes on the prize, subtly shift his body and plunge feet first into the seemingly murky water, emerging with the prize. In this shot, he has freed the snail from the snail bed. Mission accomplished, he heads off to find a branch to eat his escargot meal in peace, no snail tongs or pick needed. His are built in.