Little Grebe: offspring in Brandenburg

ZwergtaucherA high rhythmic whine can be heard as soon as I enter the reservoir. But nothing can be seen. Then a ripple of the water surface in front of the reed belt can be seen. The duckweed rises and falls noticeably. Then a small, dark-black bird appears. It has a maroon neck and a bright yellow spot on the base of the beak. Only when looking through the binoculars does the species become apparent. It is a Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), who uses this retention basin to breed its offspring. The 2 tiny nestlings on one of their first excursions can be quickly overlooked and are only easily recognized when the adult bird feeds the offspring with caught insect larvae. Then the cubs swim amazingly briskly and feverishly towards the adult bird. Now the bright ring of the eye and the yellowish beak of the young birds are noticeable. The nestlings are colored blackish-dark brown and have white lines in the plumage and on the forehead.

I have time and  can lie down on a jetty and watch and photograph the Little Grebes while they are busy searching for food. Both boys were quite different in age and development. One was almost twice the size of the other nestling. The adult bird – probably the mother – dives again and again in an obviously quite productive area, often comes up between reeds, gives its prey to one of the young and then dives again. The prey consists mostly of dragonfly larvae or amphibian larvae. None of the youngs are preferred. It is interesting that at the beginning the adult bird does not really trust the photographer lying on the fishing jetty and tries to lure the young into the densely overgrown reed areas by handing over the prey in a concealed area. But the young seem to have enjoyed swimming in the open water and stay remarkably in the wide open. This way, they only have to swim against the duckweed and do not also have to overcome the reed stems that are wedged above and below each other. At some point the parent gives up trying to educate the youngs and eagerly feeds where the nestlings are.

In order to meet the growing demand for top images of the rarer species of Palaearctic has specifically made trips to remote places. Additionally every chance is used, if a rare bird is around the homeground. This to do everything to ensure excellent photos of the Birds of the Western Palearctic . The yield of pictures also of rare Western Palaearctic birds is very good. There are other nice images of birds, that you will find behind the tab “Picture Shop“. Just give a notice if you need a picture of a bird which is not online.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *