Pied-billed Grebe Holding A Shad By Its Tail

Have you ever come across a Pied-billed Grebe with a fish in its beak? If so, you’ve just witnessed a true display of their fishing skills! These birds are one of the few species that can dive underwater to catch fish and once they’ve got their prey, they know just how to hold on tight, even while swimming.

This picture captures a Pied-billed Grebe holding a shad by its tail. With its sturdy bill, the grebe is able to grip the shad securely, making sure its hard-earned meal doesn’t slip away.

This is the same Grebe I posted a photo of yesterday with the reflection (Pied-billed Grebe and Reflection).

Pied-billed Grebe Holding Shad
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) Holding Shad

The Pied-billed Grebe is a versatile bird, found in freshwater lakes, ponds, and marshes. It’s small, about the size of a duck, with a round bill that’s black at the base and white at the tip. Its body is brown and streaked with white and has a round head and short neck.

In addition to being great fishermen, Pied-billed Grebes are also fantastic swimmers. Their dense waterproof feathers keep them afloat and warm in the water. They also use their legs to paddle, allowing them to dive deeply and swim quickly to avoid danger.

Although Pied-billed Grebes may not be as well-known as other waterbirds, they’re still fascinating creatures worth observing. Next time you’re near a freshwater body of water, take a moment to look for these expert fishermen. You may just catch a glimpse of one holding a fish by its tail, just like in this photo!

Gear Used:

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


  • Location: Charleston Lake (Arkansas)
  • Date and Time Taken: January 23, 2023 (08:53 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f11 (Fixed)
  • Shutter speed: 1/1600
  • ISO: 3200 (Auto)
  • Focal Length: 800 mm (Fixed)