Red-necked Grebe (Grèbe jougris) Podiceps grisegena
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.