Crayfish Flipping Off Its Grebe Tormentor

Yes, it’s what you think it is.


1/2500, f/6.3, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

Late yesterday afternoon while this Pied-billed Grebe was hunting crayfish in the shallow water of our local pond the crayfish apparently already knew it was doomed as the grebe approached so it rose up out of the water and defiantly gave the one-fingered salute to the grebe. A split-second later the bird grabbed the crayfish and gobbled it down.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen, much less photographed, prey giving “the finger” to a predator. From the look on the grebe’s face I don’t think it could believe the nerve of that little crustacean.


Nah, I’m joshin’ you – couldn’t resist.

Actually the grebe had just torn off one of the swimmerets of the crayfish by violently shaking it and the crayfish flew through the air and is now landing in the water tail first. Both of the big claws had already been torn off so all that was left was some of the smaller walking legs with their much smaller claws on the end – perfect for the illusion of giving the finger, especially in this position. When I saw the image on my screen that’s what I immediately thought of so I just ran with it. In reality the crayfish is now defenseless and the grebe swallowed it about 2 seconds after this photo was taken.

It’s only a novelty shot but that’s about all I had time for this morning. And besides, this little kid in an old man’s body enjoyed the hell out of it.


Note: There’s been no “Photoshop magic” applied to this photo. The image is presented as taken.



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