The Riders

I’ve been keeping an eye on a pair of Australasian Grebes (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) that have built a nest raft on a little dam in the Muckleford Forest, waiting for the moment they start taking their chicks for rides out onto the water. Sure enough, this week they had their three tiny chicks out and about.

It was quite impressive to see how well hidden the three chicks were under the wings of the parent that was carrying them.

One of the young about to join its siblings under the wings

While one parent had the chicks snuggled under wings, the other was out foraging and bringing food back to the little clutch.

Some food for the little ones.

The young would stay well hidden except when food arrived or when time came for the parents to swap roles. It was great to watch the smooth changeover – a few chattering calls and the young ones slide off the back of one parent and climbed up onto the other.

Climbing into position.
Getting excited about some food.
And into the water
On still waters

12 responses to “The Riders

  1. That’s terrific thanks. The nest rafts are amazing


    Jan S

    Jan Savage m: +61 447 005 959 e: a: PO Box 1098 Castlemaine VIC 3450

  2. What a treat to have such a close-up view of this feeding procedure. Thank you so much Patrick.

  3. As always, beautiful commentary and photos. Thanks.

  4. I’m really enjoying these observations and adventures. I’m so glad I joined. Thank you, its always something to look forward to.

  5. Love the shots with chicks buried in feathers. What are their greatest threats for the first few days?

  6. Very similar to the European version. There is another similar – the hoary headed grebe which prefers deeper water and is less common.


  7. Graeme Alexander

    Fantastic photography Geiff

  8. gorgeous, we have pied-billed grebes here in Oregon and I love their little floating nests and families.

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