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Little Devil Diver

Great birding along the Ottawa River yesterday morning. The breeze coming off the water gave a clue as to why: it seemed the fall migrants had a tail wind!

At the rock jetty at Dick Bell Park, another photographer and I enoyed a very tame pair of Horned Grebes who swam close enough for good pictures. (The more usual way to see migrant Horned Grebes is at a great distance with a telescope.) The overcast conditions made it difficult, but I was still able to capture the one bit of color, their red eyes.

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Looking at this little cutie, you might wonder why such an unassuming bird earned the folk nicknames "Devil Diver" and "Water Witch." That's because, in breeding season, the Horned Grebe's red eyes positively glow and are joined by a spectacularly wild multicolored plumage. We here in Ottawa seldom get to experience that, since most of our Horned Grebes show up in late fall. They breed in the central and western provinces.

A Feast Of ColorCormorant Portrait


October 31st, 2013 at 11:54 am
Nice pic... I really like the seasonal feel of this one!