Great Crested Grebe Devouring a Pike! 15.03.14

I set off to Westport Lake today in hope of catching a glimpse of the pair of Great Crested Grebes that live on the lake doing the famous mating dance.

Despite my patience I had no luck! But I did spot one of them carrying some nesting material. But as I looked closer, I realised it wasn’t nesting material. The grebe had a pike in its beak! Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

WARNING! Fish fans look away now!

Grebe carrying the fish
Grebe carrying the fish
That fish looks way too big!
That fish looks way too big!
A bit of a fight....
A bit of a fight….
...And then it was gone!
…And then it was gone!

Luckily I had my camera on continuous shooting and managed to capture the whole story….

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jackie Cheadle says:

    Oh my goodness Zo, how did he fit all that fish in, its huge, he wont need to eat for a week now. Brilliant how you have captured it from start to finish,

    1. zoeanne83 says:

      Thanks. It was lucky he was facing my way. Never seen anything like that before

  2. Kyle Dig says:

    Nice blog and amazing captures! That looks like huge fish caught and putting up some fight here! But in the end the bird was able to win the battle and gulp/keep that whole thing down okay really?? It seems like it would have trouble fitting down that long/skinny neck. Also, if actually eaten, does the unlucky prey get swallowed wriggling/alive all the way as well?!

    -Kyle

    1. zoeanne83 says:

      Glad you like the blog. I was surprised myself that the grebe was able to swallow this whole. The fish was swallowed whole. Not sure if this is lucky or unlucky as I did see an osprey catch a fish. Ospreys tear pieces of flesh off while the fish is still alive so I think I’d prefer the grebe as a predator!

      1. Oh that’s interesting as well, it must be some struggle from predator and prey! I have never witnessed an event like this before.

        I wonder wouldn’t a fish that size stand any chance of escaping or even damaging the bird’s stomach (don’t pike have biting teeth too?) if eaten in that condition? You have some other cool posts as well, keep it up! 😉

      2. zoeanne83 says:

        That is the first time I have seen that too. I’m not sure about the details on whether a pike would damage the stomach or not without researching it further, but I know what you mean. Thanks for the comments 🙂

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