Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Momma, Poppa and the Kids

Red-necked Grebe (Grèbe jougris) Podiceps grisegena
Mississauga, ON
2 July 2014

    There is an area in Mississauga called Lakeshore Promenade which is comprised of a series of headlands, parks and boating clubs, basically all inter-connected along the shore of Lake Ontario. This location is a productive birding area, especially in the winter when large congregations of waterfowl of different species are present.
     Today I was fortunate to see a family of Red-necked Grebes living contentedly in a small lagoon which is a sort of offshoot of Douglas Kennedy Headland. Fish are abundant in the near shore of the lake and I am sure the living is easy! These youngster look sleek and well fed.

    One of the adults delivered fish and the young quickly swam over as soon as it approached. I think that the parent birds are now starting to teach the young how to fish for themselves, for the adult would offer the fish and then drop it in the water just before the chick grabbed on to it, so that it would have to retrieve it from the water itself.

     A male Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus seemed to watch the whole sequence with rapt attention.

    A little farther along the peninsula, at A. E. Crookes Park,  a sub-adult American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus and a sub-adult Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis were feeding on a dead carp at the water's edge, the odour from which would have made me gag had I approached any closer. I fully expected a Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura or two to join in the feast but none did and the gulls had the tenderized fish all to themselves. 


  1. Grebe chicks with their parents of any species are always great to see and photograph. Those stripes must be for camouflage initially I guess, but they add to the appeal.

  2. Beautiful photos of the adult grebe with the little grebes.
    The seagulls with carp is well photographed, compliments.

  3. I had to remind myself you get Red-neckes Grebe - we do but an a very irregular basis, rarely in fact. Good observations about the adult traning the chicks. They look like a content family. Nice close-up pics David.

    That's a monster some carp the gulls have there and an instructive size difference.

  4. I'll skip on the fish, but the grebe pictures are gorgeous!
    I have been trying to no avail this season to get close the Greater grebe, but again no ways!!
    I hope the weather will "cheer up" next week, I don't now where the sun has gone!! :(
    Keep well you 2!

  5. These are beautiful images, David.

    It's great to see the R-n Grebes in summer plumage. If we're ever lucky enough to see one here it's usually in drab winter plumage. Seeing young grebes hitching a ride always raises a smile with me, too.

    With the flies on that massive carp, I can pretty much smell the stench from here!

    Best wishes to you both for next week.

  6. beautiful series of David. I always find that grebes so beautiful and certainly the little ones with their striped pkajes and red spot on the head. You have them shooting. Really nice The male black bird with the red spot is a pachtige plate. And herring gulls with great food lol ......


  7. It's called luck, to spot such specimens and even perpetuate them in the pictures :)

    Greets from Poland :)