Monday, July 14, 2008

The Splashy Dance: Courting Grebes

Even more exciting than seeing so many Clark's grebes in one place was getting to se a pair of western grebes doing the Splashy Dance. This is the courtship dance these large grebes perform in the spring and early summer. After a bit of synchronized head bobbing and bill dipping and mock preening, a male and female will lift their bodies off the water and scamper across the surface, beating their wings just enough to propel them forward.

This incredible display only lasts a few seconds, but the pair may repeat it several times in a hour. We saw it happen three different times with this one pair of western grebes. This was a life-behavior for me and something I'd always wanted to observe. I only wish I'd had my video camera handy.

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At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Lynne said...

Very Disney-esque!
What music would you put to the video?

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Jayne said...

So cool to witness that!

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Beverly said...

Gee... wouldn't that most certainly be "Dance of the Reed Flutes" (from The Nutcracker Suite Op.71A)?

or maybe it's not fast enough, huh? LOL Loved the question!


At 7:53 PM, Anonymous NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, how cool is that? Great pictures.

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous dguzman said...

I like the way the bystanders are trying to nervously avert their eyes from this private moment.


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