Australasian Grebe brooding young on nest

Subject: Australasian Grebe brooding young on nest
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 20:18:35 +1100
I've recently made a couple of onservations of Australasian Grebe brooding
young on their nest which don't quite fit the HANZAB description:
"chicks brooded on the nest for night of hatching and for no longer".

The grebes were at Tempe Ponds in the centre of Sydney very close to
the airport.

On my first visit on the evening of 10th there were chicks present
being brooded by an adult on their floating nest - the occasional head
appearing was the only evidence chicks present.  I don't know when
they hatched but but at least 2 chicks were present.

On my 2nd visit on the evening of the 15th again the chicks were being
brooded by an adult on their floating nest.  Another adult was diving
nearby & when it brought food a chick would emerge, be fed, and then
disappear out of sight under the brooding parent.  I saw only 3 chicks

On my 3rd visit on the evening of 18th, 5 chicks were swimming
with adults being fed. Near sunset they returned to nest and again were
brooded under an adult - although they didn't entirely fit out of sight -
perhaps because they were larger.

HANZAB does elsewhere mention young using nest platform during first week
with an adult so it may just be confusing wording.  Anyway interesting
behaviour to watch.

I've put some brief video clips here:


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