Mating Photos

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Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females.
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Image ID: 19693  
Mother and calf southern right whales are seen here as part of a larger courtship group, with adult males interested in mating with the mother. The calf has no choice but to stay by her mother's side during the courting activities, Eubalaena australis, Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Mother and calf southern right whales are seen here as part of a larger courtship group, with adult males interested in mating with the mother. The calf has no choice but to stay by her mother's side during the courting activities.
Species: Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis
Location: Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Image ID: 38381  
Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California
Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating.
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 36845  
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second. Lake Hodges, San Diego, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second. Lake Hodges, San Diego.
Species: Western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Image ID: 36888  
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second, Aechmophorus occidentalis, Lake Hodges, San Diego, California
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second.
Species: Western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Location: Lake Hodges, San Diego, California
Image ID: 37850  
Magnificent frigatebird, adult male on nest, with throat pouch inflated, a courtship display to attract females, Fregata magnificens, North Seymour Island
Magnificent frigatebird, adult male on nest, with throat pouch inflated, a courtship display to attract females.
Species: Magnificent frigatebird, Fregata magnificens
Location: North Seymour Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Image ID: 16725  
A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry. Adult winter non-breeding plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California
A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry. Adult winter non-breeding plumage.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 30326  
California Brown Pelican head throw, stretching its throat to keep it flexible and healthy. Note the winter mating plumage, olive and red throat, yellow head, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla
California Brown Pelican head throw, stretching its throat to keep it flexible and healthy. Note the winter mating plumage, olive and red throat, yellow head.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 30336  
Male and female southern right whales mating underwater, Eubalaena australis. The male positions himself below the female and turns upside down, so the two whales are belly-to-belly and can mate.  Sand has been stirred up by the courtship activities and the water is turbid, Eubalaena australis, Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Male and female southern right whales mating underwater, Eubalaena australis. The male positions himself below the female and turns upside down, so the two whales are belly-to-belly and can mate. Sand has been stirred up by the courtship activities and the water is turbid.
Species: Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis
Location: Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Image ID: 38291  
Courting pair of southern right whales underwater, Eubalaena australis. In this image, the male is below and inverted (belly up) and the female is at the surface. While the posture in this photo isn't quite mating, it is a courting behavior that often precedes mating, Eubalaena australis, Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Courting pair of southern right whales underwater, Eubalaena australis. In this image, the male is below and inverted (belly up) and the female is at the surface. While the posture in this photo isn't quite mating, it is a courting behavior that often precedes mating.
Species: Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis
Location: Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Image ID: 38296  
California brown pelican, portrait in pink-purple predawn light, rests on sandstone seabluff.  The characteristic mating plumage of the California race of brown pelican is shown, with red gular throat pouch and dark brown hindneck colors, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla
California brown pelican, portrait in pink-purple predawn light, rests on sandstone seabluff. The characteristic mating plumage of the California race of brown pelican is shown, with red gular throat pouch and dark brown hindneck colors.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 23646  
California Brown Pelican head throw, stretching its throat to keep it flexible and healthy. Adult winter non-breeding plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla
California Brown Pelican head throw, stretching its throat to keep it flexible and healthy. Adult winter non-breeding plumage.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 28347  
Mating pair of southern right whales underwater (on left), Eubalaena australis, Argentina, Eubalaena australis, Puerto Piramides, Chubut
Mating pair of southern right whales underwater (on left), Eubalaena australis, Argentina.
Species: Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis
Location: Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Image ID: 35923  
Courting pair of southern right whales underwater, Eubalaena australis. While the posture in this photo isn't quite mating, it is a courting behavior that often precedes mating.  The male is below, upside down and trying to access the female belly-to-belly. However, the female does not want to mate, so she has positioned herself upside down at the surface so that the males in the courting group cannot reach her genital slit, Eubalaena australis, Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Courting pair of southern right whales underwater, Eubalaena australis. While the posture in this photo isn't quite mating, it is a courting behavior that often precedes mating. The male is below, upside down and trying to access the female belly-to-belly. However, the female does not want to mate, so she has positioned herself upside down at the surface so that the males in the courting group cannot reach her genital slit.
Species: Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis
Location: Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Image ID: 38446  
Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas
Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island.
Species: Giant black sea bass, Stereolepis gigas
Location: Catalina Island, California
Image ID: 33355  
Adult male humpback whale singing, suspended motionless underwater.  Only male humpbacks have been observed singing.  All humpbacks in the North Pacific sing the same whale song each year, and the song changes slightly from one year to the next, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui
Adult male humpback whale singing, suspended motionless underwater. Only male humpbacks have been observed singing. All humpbacks in the North Pacific sing the same whale song each year, and the song changes slightly from one year to the next.
Species: Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Image ID: 02796  
Courting group of southern right whales, aerial photo. Mating may occur as a result of this courting and social behavior.  The white whale seen here is a serious player named El Copulador (the copulator) and is often seen in mating and courting groups of southern right whales at Peninsula Valdes. His light coloration is an indication that he was a white calf, but he did not darken as he aged in the way most white southern right whale calves do, Eubalaena australis, Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Courting group of southern right whales, aerial photo. Mating may occur as a result of this courting and social behavior. The white whale seen here is a serious player named El Copulador (the copulator) and is often seen in mating and courting groups of southern right whales at Peninsula Valdes. His light coloration is an indication that he was a white calf, but he did not darken as he aged in the way most white southern right whale calves do.
Species: Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis
Location: Puerto Piramides, Chubut, Argentina
Image ID: 38357  
Clark's Grebes Rushing on Lake Hodges, San Diego, Aechmophorus clarkii
Clark's Grebes Rushing on Lake Hodges, San Diego.
Species: Clarks grebe, Aechmophorus clarkii
Location: Lake Hodges, San Diego, California
Image ID: 36830  
Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California
Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating.
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 36848  
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second. Lake Hodges, San Diego, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second. Lake Hodges, San Diego.
Species: Western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Image ID: 36887  
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second. Lake Hodges, San Diego, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second. Lake Hodges, San Diego.
Species: Western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Image ID: 36889  
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second, Aechmophorus occidentalis, Lake Hodges, San Diego, California
Western Grebes rushing in a courtship display. Rushiing grebes run across the water 60 feet (20m) or further with their feet hitting the water as rapidly as 20 times per second.
Species: Western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Location: Lake Hodges, San Diego, California
Image ID: 37854  
Brown pelican in flight with wings spread wide, slowing as it returns from the ocean to land on seacliffs, adult winter non-breeding plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California
Brown pelican in flight with wings spread wide, slowing as it returns from the ocean to land on seacliffs, adult winter non-breeding plumage.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 38584  
Yellow morph California brown pelican preening, cleaning its feathers after foraging on the ocean, with distinctive winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers. Note the unusual yellow gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla
Yellow morph California brown pelican preening, cleaning its feathers after foraging on the ocean, with distinctive winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers. Note the unusual yellow gular throat pouch.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 36681  
A brown pelican preening, uropygial gland (preen gland) visible near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry. Note adult winter breeding plumage in display, with brown neck, red gular throat pouch and yellow and white head.  This adult is just transitioning to the brown hind neck that characterizes breeding brown pelicans, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California
A brown pelican preening, uropygial gland (preen gland) visible near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry. Note adult winter breeding plumage in display, with brown neck, red gular throat pouch and yellow and white head. This adult is just transitioning to the brown hind neck that characterizes breeding brown pelicans.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 36682  
A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California
A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 30289  
Western gulls, courtship behaviour, Larus occidentalis, La Jolla, California
Western gulls, courtship behaviour.
Species: Western gull, Larus occidentalis
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 18397  
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females.
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Image ID: 19697  
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females.
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Image ID: 19698  
Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter non-breeding plumage with distinctive yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch but white hind neck, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California
Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter non-breeding plumage with distinctive yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch but white hind neck.
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 28332  
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All photographs copyright © Phillip Colla / Oceanlight.com, all rights reserved worldwide.