As a wildlife photographer, I am constantly on the hunt for unique and captivating moments in the great outdoors. And recently, I had the incredible experience of observing and capturing a moment with a Pied-billed Grebe at Charleston Lake in Charleston, Arkansas.

A Pied-billed Grebe with a Mouth Full

A Pied-billed Grebe with a Mouth Full

As I sat in my pickup truck near the lake, I watched as this little bird managed to swallow a large shad whole. I have to admit, I was a bit worried it would have trouble swallowing such a big fish, but it didn’t miss a beat! In fact, I’ve seen these birds catch and eat multiple shad in just a matter of hours – it’s truly impressive.

I had my camera and lens set up on a bean bag, which I had draped over the open window of my truck. I was in the perfect position to photograph this incredible moment as the grebe chowed down on its meal.

Capturing moments like these is what makes being a wildlife photographer so rewarding. Not only do I get to witness the beauty and complexity of the natural world, but I also get to share it with others.

Every time I take a photo like this, I’m reminded of the importance of protecting and preserving our wildlife and their habitats. These creatures play such a crucial role in the ecosystem, and it’s up to us to ensure they are around for future generations to enjoy.

So, next time you’re out exploring, take a moment to appreciate the wildlife around you. You never know what incredible moments you might witness. And who knows, you might even capture a photo as memorable as the Pied-billed Grebe with a mouth full that I was lucky enough to get!

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: RF 800mm F11 IS STM


  • Location: Charleston Lake (Arkansas)
  • Date and Time Taken: January 15, 2023 (10:07 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f11 (Fixed)
  • Shutter speed: 1/2500
  • ISO: 1600 (Auto)
  • Focal Length: 800 mm (Fixed)