Photo: Pied-billed Grebe Family

A mother Pied-billed Grebe sitting on her nest while her three chicks beg for food.

This grebe’s nest wasn’t too far from the shore of a small pond in Seattle. To get a clear view of it, I had to slide out on a log that was mostly submerged in the mud. I sat still on the far end of the log for about half an hour, long enough for the birds to become accustomed to me. Once I could tell that my presence wasn’t going to bother them, I slowly scooted close enough to get a photo with a 600mm lens.

The grebes seemed to pass their entire day doing the same thing. One of the parents would stay on or near the nest with the chicks while the other left to search for fish. Every 5 or 10 minutes, when the fishing parent came back with a meal, the chicks would get super excited while they were fed. Then, after a quick 10 or 15 second visit, the parent would go back to fishing and the chicks back to waiting for the cycle to begin again.

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