Mama pied-billed grebe gives babies a fishing lesson

Posted Sept. 11, 2012, at 8:31 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 11, 2012, at 2:54 p.m.
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
A pied-billed grebe chick swims a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe chick swims a few yards from shore.
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore.
A pied-billed grebe chick swims a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
A pied-billed grebe chick swims a few yards from shore.
Pied-billed grebe chicks swim a few yards from shore.
Dave Small
Pied-billed grebe chicks swim a few yards from shore.

Not often, but every once in a while a wild critter will be so intent on feeding or breeding that it will dismiss my presence and continue it’s activity as though I was just part of the landscape. While being cautious not to interfere with nature’s ways, I feel somewhat honored to be allowed to be so close.

These photos are of a pied-billed grebe feeding its young only a few yards from shore. There were four chicks that I saw, and Mama was busy. She’d dive and, based on my observation, every third or forth time she would surface with a small fish. One or two of the youngsters would make haste toward the adult and receive a fish for its efforts. After a while, I noticed that the adult grebe would drop the fish just prior to the young one mouthing it. At first I thought that this might have been an accident, but as I watched closer, I saw it happen several more times. Perhaps a fishing lesson was in session.

More photos are available at http://photosbychance.zenfolio.com.

I hope you enjoy your outings and adventures in the Maine outdoors.

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