What are these grebes doing?

Do you know what are these grebes doing? If you are a bird watcher you may have been lucky enough to watch the spring courtship display of Great Crested Grebes. The birds face each other and shake their heads in opposite directions, or they may dive and surface with weed in their beaks, rear up breast to breast and sway from side to side. These displays are very exciting to watch.

Both male and female grebes have strikingly colored plumes and ear tufts which emphasize the head movements. The Great Crested Grebe is a water bird, of course, and you can often see it in gravel pits, reservoirs, and large lakes. It is in its element in the water and rarely leaves it, building a nest of floating vegetation in which to lay the eggs.

The nest is abandoned as soon as the eggs hatch and the young grebes climb onto the backs of the parents for journeys around the lake. They are been carried underwater when the parent bird dives for food, although sometimes they are dislodged and can be seen to bob up to the surface, none the  worse for the experience.

What are these grebes doing

The great Crested Grebes above and below are displaying to each other prior to mating. The displays are very elaborate and a number of characteristic movements can be recognized.

What are these grebes doing

The toes of the great Creased Grebe have flaps along their length. As the feet thrust through the water the flaps are spread and act like paddles to propel the birds along.

Why are albatrosses ringed?

This man is carefully placing a metal ring or band on the leg of an albatross.  Many species are ringed in this way by bird organizations in order to study bird movement. Many birds’ migrate-albatrosses travel enormous distances and much is learned about this phenomenon by analysis of the information the recovery of the rings provides.

What are these grebes doing

A small metal ring clipped to the leg of an albatross provides valuable information about the extent of the bird’s travels if it can be recovered.

The rings are stamped with the name of the organization carrying out the research, and numbers which indicate the place of ringing, the date, and other relevant information. If you ever find a bird with a ring, send the ring to the appropriate people, for you will be helping them to carry out their valuable work.

What are these grebes doing

The slender, long wings of the albatross enable it to soar effortlessly over the ocean for miles and miles. Albatrosses feed on fishes, squids, and crustaceans that they can catch on the surface of the sea. they will follow a ship for miles to feed on the refuse dumped overboard

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