Huge numbers of birds have gathered on the St. Clair River near Corunna this month in scenes that might have been lifted from a National Geographic documentary.
The ducks, geese and other hungry birds – as many as several thousand some days – are feasting on massive schools of shad fish swarming in open water at the mouth of Talfourd Creek, near the Shell Canada refinery.
“There’s been a constant feeding frenzy for weeks and it’s made no difference in the number of fish still there,” said Sarnia photographer Ronny D’Haene, who has documented the spectacle.
He’s recorded 10 species of ducks eating the silvery, herring-like shad and 13 individual bald eagles and three species of swans in the area.
Though all the birds are proficient at fishing themselves they spend much of their time attempting to steal each other’s catch and quarrel over the spoils, he said.
And it’s not just birds. D’Haene has watched at least one large tiger muskellunge, an apex predator of the fish world, scoop up both the shad and unsuspecting ducks as meals.
His photos, shared online, have drawn people from across Southwestern Ontario to see the spectacle.
“It is a display of life at its fullest,” he said.