Pied-billed Grebes – Aquatic cuties

Middle Concho Park, here in San Angelo, Texas, has the Middle Concho River, then there are little lagoons, or sloughs that branch off a bit.  It is in one of these sloughs that we spotted this lone Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).  It is a winter adult and was oblivious of me in our car, only about 50 feet away.  By the way, these are the best close-ups of a grebe that I have ever had.  Usually, I have had to contend with distances of several hundred yards, and have never been able to get shots like these.

Pied-billed Grebe - Image 8092


Pied-billed Grebe - Image 8091


Pied-billed Grebe - Image 8093


Pied-billed Grebe - Image 8089

To shoot these images, I used my Canon EOS 7D and Canon 500mm f4 lens with a 1.4 tele-converter attached.  I hand-held it, resting it on a Puffin’ Pad window rest, from our car.  Exposure was Aperture Priority, 1/2500 sec. @ f6.3 with ISO400, minus 1/3 EV adjustment.

I have never seen a dry grebe anywhere.  They are always on the water, diving every few minutes, to come up several yards away in a different spot.  Theyre never above the water long enough to dry off.  At least, that has been my experience.

Click on any image for an enlargement.  Enjoy. 🙂


19 thoughts on “Pied-billed Grebes – Aquatic cuties

  1. Fantastic photos of these, Grebes, Bob. As someone who lives in a very dry town, always love seeing water along with the birds. 🙂 And, I’d love to own that long lens. Great shots, Bob. Thanks as always for sharing!

    • Thanks so much, Katie. We have just enough water to keep some of the water birds happy. (and a photographer). 🙂

      Thanks again for the kind words, and you can make me an offer that I can’t refuse on the lens. Kidding!!

      • Of course kidding. No one would ever part with a lens like that. 🙂 Besides, I’m Nikon. 🙂 Nothing against Canon. Nothing at all. When you take such great shots, one can’t argue with the equipment used. 🙂

        • Actually, Canon has “up-graded” their 500mm lens. The new one is a bit lighter, but heavier on the price. I paid, 7,000, the new one is 10,000. Lens quality is the same so I will just keep my “cheapie”. 🙂

          I didn’t know you were Nikon, but I won’t hold it against you. 🙂

          Afte all, the choice of the pros are either Nikon or Canon most of the time, so we’re both doing OK.

  2. I clicked on every image to enjoy them larger. Just awesome, Bob. I’ve never managed to get close enough to a grebe to tell if they are wet or dry, but I do love how the water is gleaning on and dripping off of this one. Fantastic detail.

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