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Empty nest

January 15, 2014

Grebe chicksWhen starting the pump at our dam the other day, we noticed something different – one of the resident Australasian Grebes slipped off its nest into the water as usual (see previous post Floating nest), but this time it didn’t bother covering the nest with bits of plant debris. A few seconds later a couple of small fluffy balls flopped from the nest into the water and bobbed around like corks. We suspect that these two little striped chicks had only just hatched.

A short time later one of the adults swam over and the chicks clambered up under its wings, a safe haven which they will often resort to in the coming weeks, especially if there is any perceived threat around, eg a stalker with a camera ! A couple of days later they were a bit bolder and were seen perched on the back of one of the parents.

The usual clutch is reported to be four or more, but there were no abandoned eggs visible in the empty nest, so it seems this pair of grebes only managed two offspring.

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Postscript added on 19th January: Just discovered that there are in fact four chicks – the other two must have been hiding among one of the parent’s feathers, the nest material or rushes on the bank.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    January 15, 2014 9:30 pm

    Gorgeous!

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