I recently had the opportunity to capture some incredible shots of the Pied-billed Grebe in flight. As an avid wildlife photographer, I’ve always been fascinated by the way these birds move across the water – they actually run on top of it! However, I found it difficult to capture this amazing feat on camera.

But after a few days of patiently waiting and observing, I finally got lucky and got some photos of these graceful creatures in action. I discovered a location known as Miner’s Cove, which is situated in the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Here, I found a pair of Pied-billed Grebes who seemed to be quite comfortable with the presence of vehicles in the area and didn’t shy away from my parked truck.

Pied-billed Grebe in Flight

Pied-billed Grebe in Flight

I took advantage of the opportunity and positioned myself inside the vehicle, resting my camera and lens on a beanbag draped over an open window. This gave me a stable platform to photograph the Pied-billed Grebe as it ran and flew across the top of the water.

It was amazing to witness the Pied-billed Grebe’s unique flight pattern up close. They have short wings that enable them to fly quickly and erratically, and their bodies are streamlined to allow them to move seamlessly between the air and the water. The way they run on top of the water is particularly impressive, and I was thrilled to be able to capture this behavior on camera.

Overall, my experience photographing the Pied-billed Grebe at Miner’s Cove was truly unforgettable. I’m grateful for the opportunity to observe and document these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: April 9, 2023 (09:38 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200
  • ISO: 1600 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation:  +1/3
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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  3. A Pied-billed Grebe with a Mouth Full