Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
Laurel Creek C.A.
19 October 2013
This year has been a very successful one for breeding Pied-billed Grebes at Laurel Creek. I think that the young birds are now about to leave on their first migration and are getting ready for the long and hazardous flight ahead of them. As you can see from the pictures (taken from a distance) they still have vestiges of their juvenile plumage but are fully as big as their parents and appear to be well-fed and in good condition to make the journey. They were feeding voraciously and seemed to have a fish in their bill every time they popped up from beneath the water. They were also taking short flights, very much as though practicing for the serious business about to confront them. Pied-billed Grebes are seldom seen to fly after they arrive on the water in the spring, so the first airborne adventure for these hatch-year birds will doubtless be the long journey south. Bon voyage mes amis! Au plaisir de vous revoir le printemps prochain!