December 16, 2016

"It took me three or four times to understand what was happening, that the birds would dive after they heard the dolphins."

"After that, I knew what to expect and could photograph the birds as they dove.... With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from a hundred feet high, piercing the surface of the water headfirst at a speed of 50 miles an hour. They dive as deep as 30 feet to get their fill of sardines before returning to the surface. This type of sardine is the best to photograph because, when confronted by predators, they don’t move. Their instinct is to swim down as a group, but the dolphins keep them at the surface."

Said Greg  Lecoeur, who took the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photograph of the Year.

41 comments:

Arthur James said...

Reminds me of a favorite literature read, when Melville writes the Pequod coming upon Moby Dick by the sighting of the flock of birds. The magnificence of following the flight of the birds to the surfacing of the great whale.

MadisonMan said...

When will sharks learn to sit under the sardines and wait for the birds/breakfasts to rain down from the sky?

Curious George said...

Animals eat other animals? Wow. Based on my "friends" Facebook posts I thought all animals loved all other animals. Cats befriending parrots. Dogs befriending raccoons. That sort of stuff.

Quaestor said...

The sardine run draws many predators, including the sharks pictured here. Instead of preying on the other animals that arrive to feed, sharks, dolphins, and birds all work together to capture the sardines.

It may be a generational thing, but I do miss the era when National Geographic did not routine go off the rails of objectivism.

Quaestor said...

typo: routinely.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


MadisonMan didn't say...

When will sharks learn to sit under the sardines and wait for the photographers to swim by?

FIFY

Bob Ellison said...

Ze bird, she fly over ze waves, looking down, looking down. Suddenly, she dive, like a stone. She sees ze dolphin, and she know they eat the sardine that she want to eat. So she dive. Ze splash when she land is so small, I give it a 9.7.

Crap. Jacques Cousteau went suddenly Olympic diving on me.

EDH said...

Reminds me of the time the Beverly Hillbillies went "grunion hunting" to repel the invasion of the "grun".

CJinPA said...

Amazing photograph. About this:

He Left Everything–and Became Our Nature Photographer of the Year
Greg Lecoeur sold his company and left home to dive around the world.


This seems to have worked out for him which is great. For most, they're in for a rude awakening. Not that it means it's not worth trying. But I'll never forget a newspaper photographer I worked with in the 1990s. Young man with a ponytail and a free spirit. Quit the paper to photograph the conflict in Chechnya. A few months later, they found his empty backpack and nothing else. He made it into the New York Times, but not the way he wanted.

Curious George said...

"CJinPA said...
Amazing photograph. About this:

He Left Everything–and Became Our Nature Photographer of the Year
Greg Lecoeur sold his company and left home to dive around the world.

This seems to have worked out for him which is great. "

Who was the 2015 Nature Photographer of the Year?

Exactly.

CJinPA said...

Curious George said...

"Who was the 2015 Nature Photographer of the Year? Exactly."

Well, he was able to hire a boat and diver for two weeks waiting for this moment, so I figure he's making a decent living doing what he loves, even before this recognition. But I have to think the reality is a bit more harsh for most who do what he did.

Quaestor said...

Cattle egrets follow in the wake of herding ruminants because their hundreds and thousands of hooves stir up insects that normally hide deep in the grass. Birds are expert exploiters of whatever environment they find themselves in, using the adaptability they inherited from their dinosaurian forebears. Are we now to say egrets and elands are united in joint campaign against the bugs?

Sharks are drawn reflexively to the panicked motions of fish. One could well be assured the dolphins would just as soon not see the arrivals of such competition for lunch. I suppose we may anticipate at NatGeo caption about how sharks and champion surfers unite to reduce the competition.

And what do you suppose the gannets do for their cetacean benefactors by way of recompense?

MikeR said...

Glorious. Thanks.

Mac McConnell said...

This guy evidently has never been fishing for white bass. Schooling predatory fish always drive their schooling prey to the surface as they have no place to go. Follow the birds feeding on the surface and you find your game fish.

Bad Lieutenant said...

If they are like the booby, the gannet's flesh will be rank and acrid, and a shark will not willingly eat it, nor anything it thinks is one.

This will be a short thread because it is not useful to attack Republicans.

mockturtle said...

I know several award-winning amateur and professional photographers [my SIL is one] who wouldn't dream of leaving their day jobs.

Remarkable photograph, though.

mikee said...

The scene described has also been filmed from both above and below water for Attenborough's Blue Planet series. First they show the sailfish finding sardines, then the dolphins arrive, then gannets, then sharks, and finally a right whale engulfs essentially the entire school. Awesome scene.

And if you want to use this thread to attack Republicans, just remember that not only do we starve old people and children to death through welfare cuts, we also poison the earth and the seas by industrial pollution, which we produce on purpose because we hate the world in which we live.

And another complaint: the reCaptcha insists that sashimi is the same as sushi, and that a roast beef sandwich is a hamburger. Don't get me started on the issue of the correct definition of a streetsign or a storefront. Where will this madness end?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Where will this madness end?

When you get the series of reCaptcha questions Select all images that start with the first ( second, third... ) letter of your password* it is probably time to consider just how badly you want to post that comment.

*John Podesta is really getting tired of proving he is not a robot.

Fritz said...

We see "Gannet storms" here in Chesapeake Bay, when the come up in the colder months to attack swarms of Menhaden. It usually means the big stripers have pushed the bait close enough to the surface for the birds to see and reach. One of the most impressive sights we have and good fishing underneath.

Paddy O said...

It's always fascinating to watch how commenters dive on a topic once Althouse brings an article to the surface.

James Hofbauer said...

I am not sure if Steve Zissou has done anything on the topic.

DavidD said...

"Each year, the sardine run is more and more unpredictable, possibly due to overfishing or warming waters."

Human-bashing and AGW (which is actually just more human-bashing). Way to go, Mr. nature photographer.

David said...

Those aren't birds. They are flying swimming dinosaurs. Just imagine one of those suckers about eight times as big.

jimbino said...

"I knew what to expect and could photograph the birds as they dove."

There is no verb-form "dove" in English. The proper past tense of "dive" is "dived." Since diving plays a major role in his work, this photographer needs to get it right. Lecoeur, a Frenchman, has spent too much time listening to Amerikans talk.

Likewise, the proper past tense of "hang" (execute by hanging) is "hanged," not "hung." And the proper past participle of "drink" is "drunk," not "drank."

cf. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hang

Curious George said...

"jimbino said...
Likewise, the proper past tense of "hang" (execute by hanging) is "hanged," not "hung.""

Correct. Hung is a an adjective.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rocketeer said...

Correct. Hung is a an adjective.

Also, my nickname.

Jupiter said...

mikee said...

"And another complaint: the reCaptcha insists that sashimi is the same as sushi, and that a roast beef sandwich is a hamburger. Don't get me started on the issue of the correct definition of a streetsign or a storefront. Where will this madness end?"

You know, you can just ignore that "prove you're not a robot" stuff. Just ignore it. It has no effect. Hit "Publish" and away you go.

rcocean said...

Fascinating post. But I kept thinking "What does Trump think?"

Jupiter said...

urious George said...
"jimbino said...
Likewise, the proper past tense of "hang" (execute by hanging) is "hanged," not "hung.""

"Correct. Hung is a an adjective."

I'm not so sure, guys. "We hung it out to dry" sounds like a past tense to me. Do you prefer "We hanged it out to dry"?

Fernandinande said...

Jupiter said...
I'm not so sure, guys. "We hung it out to dry" sounds like a past tense to me. Do you prefer "We hanged it out to dry"?


"Hung" is a correct past tense of "hang" unless you're referring to judicial hanging of a person.
"Dove" is a correct past tense of "dive".
"Drank" is a correct past tense of "drink".

Fernandinande said...

Jupiter said...
"Correct. Hung is a an adjective."
I'm not so sure, guys.


They bees making a joke.

traditionalguy said...

The flying dinosaurs are back. Survival by airpower.

traditionalguy said...

Gull winged death. It must be F4u Corsair birds.

SukieTawdry said...

Those are some great photos. I am in awe.

mikee said...

Jupiter, I usually do ignore the reCaptcha.
But where is the fun in just publishing my comment without defeating the robot first?

When the robot wars begin, I'll be ready. Just sayin'.

David said...

Clever birds. It's hard to open those little metal cans with just that infernal key.

James Hofbauer said...

Even if Steve Zissou produced a hack job in coverage, at least Seu Jorge would accompany with well chosen Bowie covers in Portuguese. Speaking Portuguese, touching on immigration, 'Horse Money' depicts darkly, visually stunning in mystery, embracing human faltering.

mockturtle said...

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

William said...

The natural world used to be so beautiful and impressive before CGI. Now it rarely matches up with Tim Burton on a bad day.

JAORE said...

"They are flying swimming dinosaurs."

Exactly. My first thought was what are those two mini-T-Rex doing in that photo..