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The Greeblies are here

November 8, 2021

After three anxious weeks of watching them on the nest – a floating structure built way to close to the shore by my way of thinking and in the vicinity of a big ol’ Red-bellied Black (Snake), mum and dad Australasian Grebes (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) hatched what can only be described a three cotton balls with paddles.

Although the three Greeblies (not the official term for a Grebe chicks!) are quite capable of swimming at birth when danger threatens they clamber aboard the back of one of the parents and hide under their wings (see picture above and below). If the parents are concerned then they do the usual grebe-thing of diving under the water only to reappear metres away. The young ones are taken along for the ride.

This form of chick transportation only takes place in the first few weeks after hatching. By then the greeblies are too big to fit on their parents’ backs and have themselves learned the art of diving when danger approaches. Daily life now appears to consist of the adults diving down and picking up food that is voraciously eaten by the chicks as soon as they surface.

After a couple of months the parents will leave the young to fend for themselves. In good seasons they may reuse the nest to lay a second clutch of eggs.

I don’t think I could stand the stress of waiting again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rebecca Bowles permalink
    November 8, 2021 8:11 pm


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