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Birdchick Blog: Sometimes Being Hard and Bulbous Can Be In Your Favor

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sometimes Being Hard and Bulbous Can Be In Your Favor

All the photos in this entry are courtesy of my buddy, the digiscoping pro Clay Taylor.

Well, I had timed my trip in Connecticut to have Monday free to do some birding, but a hard and windy downpour has put the damper on that plan (har har). Instead, I'm catching up on some work and playing with some of Clay's cameras, looking ahead for when my Fuji FinePix finally falls apart (a point and shoot lives the life of ten cameras in one year with me).

Clay does digiscoping with both a point and shoot (like I do) and with an SLR camera. I was playing with his Pentax K100 and downloading photos when I came across a series of ring-necked duck photos that he took at Santee Lakes during a digiscoping workshop at the San Diego Bird Festival:

Here, the mighty ring-necked duck pursues its quarry.

He gets hold of his prey--a large snail.

Now that he has the seemingly defenseless snail in his grasp, how long will it be before he can consume the slimy contents?

His hunger relentless, he finds himself surprised that he has captured a large and nourishing meal, but alas, unable to swallow the snail.

No matter how wide he spreads his beak apart, the snail will not budge any further down towards his crop.

He makes another adjustment to try and swallow...

He tries gently to flip the snail around in this bill, careful to not lose his intended meal...

And he tries to incorporate his tongue into the process...

One big gulp and he should have it...

And with a final pitooey, the ring-necked duck releases the snail who slowly oozes away victorious.

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5 Comments:

Blogger dguzman said...

Oh, the drama of it all! It was like watching Wild Kingdom.

2/18/2008 11:16 AM  
Blogger ncmountainwoman said...

That is absolutely, totally, way cool. The agony of defeat. Thanks for sharing this very unusual series of photos.

2/18/2008 11:24 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Fantastic photo essay! Kudos to Clay.

2/18/2008 12:22 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Great pics and great post! Poor duck, after all that!

2/21/2008 2:46 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Fantastic photos! Finally, you can see the "ring" (maroon) on the the "Ring-necked Duck"! If only they could have named it the "ring~billed~ duck"...

2/22/2008 10:25 PM  

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