A greedy cormorant realised his eyes were too big for his belly when he struggled to swallow a huge rainbow trout.
The aquatic bird spent more than 30 minutes trying to get his mouth around his next meal before being forced to face he’d bitten off more than he could chew.
He eventually let go of the trout, which swam away to safety after making the miracle escape.
Amateur photographer Shahin Abasov, 59, managed to catch the moment in the island city of Galveston, off the Gulf Coast of Texas.
He said: “The fish was pretty big, he could not swallow it, so he gave up and let him go.
“The fish was alive at the end of it and managed to swim away, he was lucky as most of the time they’re swallowed.
“When they catch the small fish they can swallow it straight away.
“There were other cormorants fishing and they managed to catch the smaller fish.
“But when the fish is big, the cormorants will come over and fight to try and take them.”
Shahin, a petroleum engineer from Houston, Texas, added: “I went specifically to take the picture.
“From time to time I go to Galveston and watch the the Cormorants and Pelicans fish.
“I like wildlife, I like nature and in my free time, this I my hobby.”