THE KINGFISHER HAS the poise of an Olympic diver. It catches food by plunging head-first into water, wings outstretched and beak pointed keenly at an unsuspecting minnow or stickleback swimming below. The bird dives in the blink of an eye, snatching its prey and flying away in a blur.
Alan McFadyen recently captured a kingfisher’s riveting dive in a gorgeous photo that shows the bird the moment before it nabs a fish, its body reflected as a mirror image in the water’s surface. The birds, which tend to be small, with large heads and dagger-like beaks, can dive at speeds up to 25 mph, making McFadyen’s photo a difficult shot. “The [kingfisher’s] speed is incredible and fascinating to watch,” he says. “Even at 10 frames per second, sometimes you get nothing in the [photograph]. It’s that fast.”