A significant number of birds depend on fish as part of, or all of, their diet. Catching a fish is only part of the challenge. Once caught, the bird must keep other birds or mammals from stealing the fish before it can be consumed.
Next, the fish has to be repositioned before swallowing it whole. If you have handled a fish before, you know to slide your hand from the head to the tail when grabbing it. Otherwise, the dorsal fins can prick you. Birds swallow the fish head first so that the fins do not get caught in their throat. The trick is to not lose the fish in the process.
After properly positioning the fish, the bird must try to swallow it. If the fish is too big, the bird eventually tires and lets the fish go. It is truly amazing how big of a fish a bird can swallow.
Belted Kingfishers perch or hover above the water and dive down to catch their prey. Then, they fly to a perch, pound the prey against the perch to stun or kill it, and then swallow it whole.
Bald Eagles take a little different approach. They usually perch or fly over a water body, spot a fish, pick it off of the surface, and continue their flight to a perch or nest. Then, using their sharp beak and talons, they rip the fish into pieces to be consumed.
13 thoughts on “Fish – It’s What’s for Dinner”
Stan, the details in your photos are amazing. It is obvious that you spend many, many hours getting the perfect shot.
Thank you Tom. I am glad I have time to spend photographing our amazing animals.
Nice photos Stan, I have never seen a Loon and here there was one at Swan Lake, I hope to see one and hear it as well someday. There is a family of Mallards on Walnut Creek with seven ducklings..so cute. I look for them on my walks and most generally get a peek. They have improved their speed swimming. Take care.
Thank you Sue. I did not see any loons at Swan Lake this year. But, I have seen them about the last 3 – 4 years.
I am sure you are enjoying the ducklings. They are always fun to watch. They do grow up fast.
Well Done Mr Stan.
Thank you Don.
Fun to see your pictures and read your amazing stories.
Thank you Linda. I hope Ed and you are staying healthy. Hopefully, you will be able to take a family fishing trip this year.
I love your photos. I’m glad the Pied-billed grebe gave up on that fish. He literally bit off more than he could chew! Thanks for the lovely birdwatching session.
Carol, I am always amazed at how big of fish those little grebes can swallow. I was actually surprised that this grebe was not able to swallow this fish.
Stan, Your photos are amazing! We look forward to your emails with always a fascinating look at nature. Keep up the good work! Wes & CJ
Thank you Wes & CJ. I love our wildlife.
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