By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane
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Wildlife photographer Alejandro Prieto snapped a murrelet diving for its dinner in Baja California, Mexico - but from 'a fish eye view'.
The Mexican photographer said: “I entered the cold November water to photograph a pair of humpback whales which passed by very quickly.
"Swimming back to the boat I saw a small moving object in front of me - it was a murrelet submerging its head to feed on the tiny crustaceans."
Prieto was fortunate enough to witness this extremely quick encounter as the large bird only popped its head under the water for less than a minute.
He said: “Under normal circumstances as you’d get close it’d fly away, but surprisingly instead of this it just kept feeding in front of me.
“By approaching very slowly I was able to get close from beneath, thankfully it stayed there for a few moments allowing me to capture this behavior.”
Unlike other sea birds, the murrelet is usually found on the water in pairs or alone, rather than in large flocks.
This rare bird only lays one blue egg a year, on the flat, mossy branch of a redwood. Both murrelet parents then forage food for the chick, avoiding peregrine falcon and hawk attacks.
Their hunting technique involves them floating on the calm ocean, and suddenly submerging to catch their prey, which varies from small fish to crustaceans.
Alejandro spotted this petite sea bird feeding by chance, and had to move quickly to capture it on camera.
He said: “The bird was moving constantly, and I quickly had to set the correct settings on the camera, this is a wild animal, it only gave me a few moments to get the most photos I can.”
Unfortunately due to coastal oil spills intruding on their vulnerable habitat, there has been a serious recent decline in the population of this mysterious sea bird in recent years.