Readers’ wildlife photos

October 23, 2022 • 8:00 am

It’s the Lord’s Day, but also John Avise‘s, for John’s provided us with another batch of bird photos. His narrative and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. Today’s theme:

Surface-Diving and Swimming UnderwaterMany birds including loons (Gaviidae), Grebes (Podicipedidae), Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae), and some ducks (Anatidae) dive from the water’s surface and swim underwater in search of fish or other food items.  The legs of such birds are positioned far back on the body and the feet are totally or partially webbed for good propulsion.  You have to be lucky to photograph a bird in the act of surface-diving because it happens quickly and without warning.  This week’s batch of photos shows several surface-diving birds that I happened to catch in the act of diving or swimming underwater.

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis):

Western Grebe diving:

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula):

Common Goldeneye preparing to dive:

Common Goldeneye diving:

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus):

Double-crested Cormorant diving:

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata):

Surf Scoter swimming underwater:

Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis):

Eared Grebe diving:

Eared Grebe swimming underwater:

Eared Grebe still underwater:

Eared Grebe re-surfacing:

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Thanks once again.
    I used to dive regularly in the Monterey Bay area, when I was younger and more tolerant of the cold water (and my drive to get there). It was always startling to be 30 or 50 ft. down and realize, hey, that was a bird, not a fish, “flying” by me, usually a cormorant (not sure the species). Never got a decent image of one, as they moved too fast for me, were too distant for my strobes by the time I could react, and water visibility was rarely good enough for natural light photography. (Wish I’d had a GoPro back then.)

  2. A very interesting set. As for needing to be lucky to photograph a diving bird in the act, I think it must be said that you definitely make your own luck!

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