Pied-billed Grebe and flying Crayfish – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
The Pied-billed Grebes at the local pond have been feasting on the crayfish they have been finding and because they have I have gotten some very interesting behavior in my photos of the grebes. Three afternoons ago I captured images of not just one flying crayfish in the air but two of them because of the Pied-billed Grebes capturing and consuming the freshwater crustaceans.
Crayfish go by many nicknames including crawfish, crawdads, yabbies, mountain and freshwater lobsters and mudbugs. I guess I could have titled this post “Pied-billed Grebes with Flying Mudbugs” too.
I didn’t have the best angle of light in the first Pied-billed Grebe and flying crayfish but I liked that I caught two parts of the crayfish in mid air, the claw between the open bill of the grebe and the body of the crayfish about to take a dive into the pond.
As a former swimming & diving competitor I feel that I can give the crayfish an 8.5 for the dive, it would splash less on entry if its little legs were closer to its head, other than that its form is wonderful. 😉
Pied-billed Grebe tossing a Crayfish into the air – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
The Pied-billed Grebes snap the legs with the claws off first, probably to protect themselves from getting injured by them, then consume the body of the crayfish. I was surprised to get two of the crayfish in “flight” on the same afternoon because of how quickly this all happens, the frame after this doesn’t even show the crayfish in it because by then it was in the water.
These aren’t what I would call great images technically but the action and behavior make up for that in my opinion.
Life is good.