Parenting: The Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe, by Marcia Verleta

           It was almost time to wrap up a bird-watching day.  However, just as we were about to leave the boardwalk a Pied-billed Grebe crossed under the bridge just in time for me to take another amateur photo. Still I just couldn’t get a good shot until I saw why it glided to a well-protected bushy enclosure. Just being in the right place at the right time turned out to be the best moment of the entire day!

Pied-billed Grebe, by Marcia Verleta

               I adore the way these Grebes carry out the task of parenting.  Most of our walk along the boardwalks and pathways showed them gliding and diving beneath the pond and marshes.  They stayed far away from scrutiny.  It was hard to catch up to them for photo taking until it was time to go home.

                They work in as a team and it is beautiful to see.  As the Grebe glided to the bushy enclosure it sat upon the verge of an already occupied undergrowth of mangrove trees and bramble.  Of course, I was not even prepared for what happened next.  I was just happy that it came to my side of the pond instead of making me zoom until I could make the photo clearer. 

I will assume that the larger Grebe was the father.  He got up and behold the well-hidden secret was a nest of eggs!  Swiftly he set out for his turn for wandering along the pond, but not without clocking out with his partner fully ready to take her shift.  What a beautiful relationship Grebes have!

                I never expected to witness this clever family nesting. I enjoy good parenting examples, and this was indeed most enviable. The Pied-billed Grebe is a responsible and exceptionally well-organized bird. Both sexes build the nest and dutifully feed their young.

Pied-billed Grebe, by Marcia Verleta
Pied-billed Grebe, by Marcia Verleta

I have seen bird nests in my yard, but never for long as I do have cats.  It is always a pleasure to observe birds in their habitat. This sighting was not planned or expected so I feel privileged to share it with you.

See: Birdwatching: Pied-billed Grebe

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Sharing everyday life through photography and writing.