Here is a photo of two egret chicks fighting for food, taken in the Audubon Society’s Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas during Week Eight of the breeding season. By this point in the season, most eggs have hatched and most nests have several young, all vying for food that the parents ferry to the nest. Competition among siblings for food is fierce. Notice how the parent is getting ready to regurgitate some food and how one chick is trying to push another away. Parents seem to allow and even encourage this in-fighting. I wonder if its their way of allocating scarce resources so that the strongest will grow stronger. They don’t seem genetically programmed to ensure that each offspring gets its fair share of food. I’ve seen them feed pushier siblings repeatedly while the weaker ones go hungry. Taken with a Nikon D4S and 800mm f5.6 Nikkor.