Monday, July 22, 2013

More Bronte Marina Grebe Pictures

I'm getting behind again!  And that is my excuse for the fact that I can't remember for sure how/when I visited the Bronte Marina again, except that I think I had a meeting just after lunch in Oakville.  The chicks were a little bigger, and I got to see the feeding routine a couple times with better views than my last visit.

This time I was there sometime mid day, and with partially overcast skies, the light was dispersed instead of a glare.

Joey?? Where are you?!?

In my room, Mom!

It was still just the two chicks from last time.  This time, there were eight eggs, one of them a fresh white colour - evidence of egg dumping.  I had seen someone mention this on the Hamilton Birders group and thought they were mistaken... I thought it meant they were starting to push their own eggs overboard, giving up on the ones that didn't hatch.  But when I looked it up, I learned that it's actually an offensive, competitive move by neighbouring Grebes to try and sabotage the egg recipient's efforts at incubation.  Seems backwards at first, but if they have too many eggs, then they can't keep them all at the proper incubation temperature.  The Grebes end up rotating them all and often then none of them stay long enough at the proper temperature and none of the larger clutch size hatch. 

Evidence of 'Egg Dumping'
(note the one bright white egg on the right)

The strategy seems to have worked here - out of the final egg count of 10, only two hatched.  It was reported not long ago that the nest is abandoned with no eggs left, and the chicks almost the same size as the adults.

Room Service

Now what Dad?
Son, there are little fish, and big fish. 
You eat the little fish, but the big fish eat you!

Red-necked Grebe with vegetation
they continually add to the nest.

Red-necked Grebe chick.

Red-necked Grebe chicks on adult's back.

I doubt I'll be back here again this year. Sure a nice spot to see these birds up close and enjoy seeing the distinctive chicks with their neat colour patterns.

Till next time...
Keep enjoying His handiwork!

1 comment:

Sorry about the annoying word verification... I've been deluged with Spam comments lately and some have been offensive.