SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Friday, July 04, 2008

Grebes still with babies on their backs

I made a quick trip to Lake Henry yesterday and was rewarded by the sight of a number of Clark's and Western Grebes still with chicks on their backs and some juvenile grebes learning to be independent. These pics are of a Clark's Grebes that was still "back-brooding" (brooding their young on their backs) its chick.
The downside of the trip was the many ski-doos and motorboats that were on the shore near the 40 recreational vehicles that were already camped there and there would likely be a number more arriving later yesterday and today with their motorboats and ski-doos. While I was there, I watched 2 ski-doos driving very fast across the lake causing grebes to dive for their lives.

The really sad thing is that parent grebes will avoid diving with young chicks on their backs until a real emergency as their offspring can drown. It's really unfortunate that recreationists consider their recreational participation more important than survival of birds and other wildlife--tis is true of other motorized recreationists (like those with ATV's) and even non-motorized recreationists (eg, climbers who disturb nesting raptors).

This includes birders who consider their observation and photographing of birds more important than the birds' welfare, especially when it comes to pursuing rare species or those that are listed as Threatened or Endangered. Indeed it's not just selfish ski-dooers that are a threat to birds but birders who should know better. SeEtta


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