Grebes Feeding Chicks

Although I originally went to Bear River Migratory Refuge to get shots of Avocet chicks, I now look forward to seeing Grebe chicks as much as seeing Avocet chicks. Although we managed to see grebes with chicks, we saw far fewer than we did either time we visited last year. Nevertheless, watching the parents carry the chicks and feed them was definitely a highlight of the trip.

Generally it seems that one parent will bring food back to the parent carrying the chicks, but as I was photographing this family the parent with the chick caught something and proceeded to feed it to the chicks.

As the parent held it in its beak both chicks seemed interested in it,

but one chick definitely seemed hungrier than the other one

and kept its eyes on the prize.

It wasn’t until I was at the computer that I noticed it seemed like both of the chicks may have been actually eating whatever the parent at caught.

The more I observed the grebes feeding chicks the more I wondered how a parent decided which chick to feed. Some chicks seemed larger than their siblings and seemed to eat more of the food. I never saw a parent actually turning and feeding a particular chick; they just seemed to hold the food out in front of them and the chicks tried to eat it.