The attack seemed unprovoked from my point of reference standing on the edge of this slowly draining water hole. Both birds had appeared to be tending to Green Heron business on opposite sides of the pond in mutual harmony.
A platform overlooks this area known as Sweetwater Wetlands. The pond is being drained for a controlled burn to remove excessive vegetation. Still, it seems large enough for all to coexist peacefully. A Great Egret and a Snowy Egret showed no animosity towards each other and foraged peacefully.
Unfortunately, somehow, something provoked the adult into attacking the juvenile.
It's likely the Green Heron's actions raised the pond inhabitants' anxiety level a few notches with their displays of aggression and posturing.
The adult on the left was upset at the juvenile on the right, possibly for the younger's mere presence at the pond.
That's only my observation, but Green Heron the Younger seems to be receiving a little foot action to deliver that message.
He retreats only to land across the pond at the exact spot where the adult left to initiate his attack.
Now the adult Green Heron gets to claim this lovely new section of mudflats.
I wonder how he feels about that?
Credits: Sibley's Guide to Birds