Mud-Rolling Mud-Dauber

Georgina Steytler's Image

Georgina was at the waterhole early to photograph birds, but her attention was diverted to these industrious wasps. They were busy at the water’s edge, rolling the soft mud into balls and carrying them to their nearby nests. For a good angle, she lay in the mud, then pre-focused on a likely flight path and began shooting continuously.

The female mud-dauber wasps use the mud balls to build their nests. Collecting them into clusters, they then carve chambers inside the balls into which the females lay their eggs. Before closing each one up, the wasps insert the paralysed bodies of orb-weaving spiders as food for their larvae when they hatch.

Behind the lens

Georgina Steytler

Georgina Steytler


Georgina is a multi-award-winning nature photographer and writer with a passion for ethics and bird conservation. She has been a regular volunteer and long-time member of BirdLife Australia as well as Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. She grew up on an orchard in Donnybrook, Western Australia, where she developed a love for the natural environment.

Image details

  • Canon EOS-1D X
  • 600mm f4 lens
  • 1/4000 sec at f8  •   ISO 1000
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