Making Waves

These are Clark’s Grebes doing their mating ritual on a Southern California reservoir. Western Grebes also do this dance. Impressive to watch because this action happens quickly. There is a typical warning sign that this behavior is about to commence; the pair lower their whole bodies to just above water level and stare at each other for a second or two. The rushing event then occurs rapidly, sometimes lasting a few seconds.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
iso 800, 400 plus 1.4x, f8, 3200th, handheld from a boat, 50% of full frame.

Hi David! Nice capture! I love the mating rituals so many birds display. Great timing to get this.

Great catch, David. It’s always such fun to catch animals in their behavior. Everything is nice and sharp, and the water is presented very well. Good one.

I agree that this is pretty wonderful. Birds are fascinating in how some species have no sexual dimorphism and others do. Evolution is amazing. Your comment about a ‘tell’ before they take off reminds me of bald eagles. More often than not a baldie will poop just before lifting off from a perch. It’s hilarious to watch, but a bonus for photographers.

David, this is a great catch, with these grebe’s making a fine set of big splashes on top of the small ripples…