[Tweeters] Re: Pied-billed Grebe chicks

Doug Canning igc dcanning at igc.org
Fri Oct 14 22:57:22 PDT 2011

On 14 Oct 2011 at 21:08, Martin Muller wrote:

Subject: Re: Pied-billed Grebe chicks
From: Martin Muller <martinmuller at msn.com>
Date sent: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 21:08:04 -0700
Copies to: dcanning at igc.org
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Doug, Tweets,


> During my observations of Pied-bills on Green Lake (Seattle, King

> Co.) I had a late hatching date of October 6 (1991), with several

> young from that brood surviving till flight capability (around 35 days

> of age; mid-November in this case). I say flight capability because

> sometimes the adults continue feeding young well past this point

> (sometimes 11 - 14 weeks).


> If the young you saw were in the stripe-head stage on Sept. 14, they

> could have been capable of flight already at that time, so I'm not

> surprised they were gone by the 24th.

They were late in the stripe-head phase, with that plumage remaining only on the
head and nape, so by the 24th they were likely wholly passed into their juvenal

> Where exactly is this pond? A quick search on Google Maps for West

> Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area comes up negative. What kind of food would

> they have been feeding on? Fish, insects (and their larvae), crayfish?

West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area (~3 miles NW of Tenino) was acquired by the
Wash. Dept of Fish and Wildlife in about 2006, is open to the public, but as yet is
not well publicized, though it is described on the WDFW web site as a component
of the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area complex. I've posted driving directions and a
site description on BirdNotes.net in the Site Guides section.

The pond is rather small, only ~3 acres, and most of that densely vegetated by
water-lily (Nuphar polysepalum) and Floating-leaved Potamogeton (P. natans), so
any but the most detained close-up aerial photo image will show the pond as a
small green sport in a generally mottled green area of the much larger willow/ash
swamp. THe observation station I occupied during this sighting is at GPS
coordinate 0,509,272E; 5,192,700N -- or, if you "speak" public land survey, it's in
the N½, SE¼, NW¼, Section 12, T16N, R2W.

As for what they might have been feeding on, I cannot say. I've been studying this
place for only a few months and have only the crudest idea of what-all lives in the
pond waters. I would expect they were feeding on insects, but possibly fish
(Belted Kingfisher hang out there too).

> Thanks for sharing the observations.


> Martin Muller, Seattle

> martinmuller at msn.com


> > From: "Doug Canning igc" <dcanning at igc.org>

> > Date: October 13, 2011 5:15:31 PM PDT

> > To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> > Subject: [Tweeters] Pied-billed Grebe chicks

> > Reply-To: dcanning at igc.org

> >

> >

> > This is a much belated posting...

> >

> > On September 14th I saw an adult Pied-billed Grebe with 6 juveniles

> > still partially in their "stripe-head" plumage stage on a small

> > open-water pool within a willow swamp on the West Rocky Prairie

> > Wildlife Area, Thurston County. All had the striped plumage on their

> > head and nape, some also had bits of red on their crown. Below their

> > neck, they had all acquired their later, brownish juvenal plumage.

> >

> > This seems like a late date for such young Pied-billed chicks but I

> > have little experience with them: in the past 30 years I've seen

> > juveniles only only seven other occasions.

> >

> > On the 24th I was again at this location but did not see any of

> > them.

> >

> > Any comments on the timing? or location?

> >

> > Doug

> >

Doug Canning, Olympia Wash.
dcanning at scattercreek dot com
dcanning at igc dot org

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