On this day, female Hoodies were far better fisherbirds than males.

 

1/2500, f/9, ISO 640, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

A little over three weeks ago I was lucky enough to find four Hooded Mergansers that tolerated my presence for quite a while. Even though I saw no evidence that they were pairing up yet for the breeding season, they stuck fairly tightly together as a group of four.

Even so, I was lucky to get a few shots with all four of them in the frame because…

 

 

1/2500, f/9, ISO 640, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

one or more of them was usually underwater looking for fish. Here one of the males is in the process of diving.

 

 

1/3200, f/5.6, ISO 640, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

For some reason, on that day I only saw females catch fish. It wasn’t because the males weren’t trying but they seemed to have no luck at all. This female wasn’t particularly close when she popped up to the surface but she obviously had a fish, another weather loach. All the fish I saw caught were loaches.

 

 

1/4000, f/5.6, ISO 640, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

When this female came up with another fish she was far away from the male but she immediately steamed toward him, as if her intention was to give the fish to him. She was making no attempt to swallow it herself.

But as she got close to him she…

 

 

1/4000, f/5.6, ISO 640, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

chugged right on by, as if she was teasing him and/or showing off. He looks surprised.

 

 

1/4000, f/5.6, ISO 640, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

To me he seems to be perplexed by the apparent snub but that’s probably just my personal, anthropomorphic reaction.

 

Just for the heck of it, I decided to include two photos of a Hoodie with a fish that I took at the same location a little over a year ago.

 

 

1/2500, f/5.6, ISO 800, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

This photo of a female (immature?) Hoodie was taken immediately after she popped to the surface with a loach. The fish is still very much alive and struggling to escape.

 

 

1/2500, f/5.6, ISO 800, Canon R5, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

Her efforts to stun/kill the fish prior to swallowing it produced an unusually shaped water splash that caught my attention, especially in combination with its reflection. I don’t recall ever seeing a water splash quite like this one.

It’s been several weeks since I’ve seen a Hoodie and I suspect I may not see another one this winter unless it turns super cold again. Which makes me appreciate these photos even more.

Ron

 

Autor Ron Dudley

OTHER USERS BOUGHT THIS!!!

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JessicaGG
Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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