I found these two egret chicks sparring with each other on 4/24/2014 at the Audubon Society’s Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas. At three to four weeks old, they still depend on their parents to bring them food. While their parents were off fishing, they chicks were busy honing their survival skills – building strength in their beaks by jousting with each other.

Photo taken with the Nikon D4S, 800mm Nikkor and 2X teleconverter at 1/4000th of a second and f11 with ISO 2000.

At f11, the D4S looses autofocus capability, so I took this shoot by focusing manually. But the effective 1600mm focal length allowed me to reach inside the nest and capture this close up of the chicks playing with each other from about 80 yards away.