[Tweeters] Re: Western Grebe vocalizing, Lake Havasu, AZ

Hank Heiberg karenhank at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 1 17:20:09 PDT 2013

Our impression was that this was a young Western Grebe begging to be fed, but there was no adult nearby. We heard the vocalization from the time that we got out of car until we walked along a path and onto a fishing pier and finally saw what bird was vocalizing, maybe off and on for ten minutes. Two thoughts were that adult was no longer alive or that the adult left the juvenile alone to prompt it to seek food on its own. In any case, we had never seen this behavior before, hence the post.

By the way, I have tried to get my name to appear correctly on Tweeter posts. Sometime it does and most of the time it doesn't. Karen is my wife's name. My name is Hank. I don't know how to stop posts appearing under the name Hank Karen or Karen Hank. If someone can help me, please contact me. I have contacted the administrator without a solution. Thank you.

Hank Heiberg
Lake Joy
Carnation, WA

Sent from my iPad

> On Nov 1, 2013, at 4:22 PM, Martin Muller <martinmuller at msn.com> wrote:


> I find Hank Karen's video of the vocalizing Western Grebe very interesting. A couple of questions about the circumstances: A) was there another bird the vocalization was directed towards? B) If there was, was the other bird carrying food when this bird approached it?


> From my Pied-billed Grebe observations in the past I get the distinct impression that what Hank caught on disk is a young-of-the-year bird food begging and assuming a submissive posture while approaching an adult with food (partially submerging the neck and splashing water with exaggerated shallow or surface strokes of the feet while pointing the bill up - somewhat-). This is not the food-begging behavior of a female soliciting courtship feeding by a male.


> I tried to check my hunch by reading the appropriate sections of the Western Grebe account of The Birds of North America Online (Storer, R. W. and G. L. Nuechterlein. 1992. Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/026a) but to my surprise there was nothing on this type of behavior or the vocalization in the account.


> Has anyone ever watched almost independent (6-8 weeks old) Western Grebe young perform this type of behavior on the breeding grounds?


> Martin Muller, Seattle

> martinmuller at msn.com

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