Incredible footage has shown a giant bird swooping down from the sky and swallowing a massive rat whole from a lake.
The rare moment was caught on camera by wildlife photographer David Barrett who shared it on Twitter.
The short clip shows a Great Blue Heron bending into a lake and dipping its beak into the green water.
Within seconds, the predatory bird picks up a lifeless rat and quickly swallows it whole in a few big gulps.
Avid bird photographer David wrote in his account Manhattan Bird Alert: "Great Blue Herons eat plenty of fish, but they won’t pass up a meaty and filling New York City rat – this morning at the Central Park Pond.
"It took the Great Blue Heron only a few seconds to lift the rat, once killed, out of the water and swallow it."
The waterbird might just be having its meal but viewers were happy that it was helping to get rid of rodents, whose numbers have surged in the city during the pandemic.
One viewer said: "Let's put thousands of Heron in the subway."
Another wrote: "This bird doing the lord’s work getting rid of rats."
But David said he doesn't think the herons could take down the rat population in New York City.
He told New York Post: "Look at the numbers. Manhattan might have 50 red-tailed hawks altogether and roughly 15 Blue Herons visit the city daily.
"The number of rats in Manhattan is not known with any certainty but estimates are 400,000 and up.
“[There] are far too few to make an impact on rat population."
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According to wildlife website, Great Blue Heron are excellent fishers with an appetite for eating almost anything within striking distance of their long beak.
These birds can be spotted around shorelines and in shallow marshes, either slowly wading through the water or waiting patiently for their prey.
Once their next meal is spotted, they will stretch out their long neck and freeze in place. When the moment is right, they strike with their blade-like bill.
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