Covert Mom

Pied-billed Grebes at the Horicon Marsh

The constant peeping drew my attention.  These Pied-billed Grebe chicks seemed always hungry and never satisfied.  They never left Mom Grebe’s side.  Where she swam, they swam.

Pied-billed Grebes at the Horicon Marsh

She looks like she’s smiling, but after a while, their incessant cheeps drove her to the breaking point.  She dove underwater and resurfaced in an undisclosed location.  I couldn’t find her and neither could her chicks. The dazed chicks became silent and drifted in bewilderment.

I moved on and drove further down Highway 49.

Great Egret and Snowy Egret at the Horicon Marsh

How fortuitous that these two egrets crossed paths!  The larger one is a Great Egret.  His legs are black.  His bill is yellow.  The Snowy Egret is, obviously, smaller.  He has black legs with yellow feet and a dark bill.  There is a reddish orange area in front of the eye which is typical during breeding.[1]  There are a number of egrets on the south side of Highway 49 today.  I might not have noticed the Snowy Egret in the mix if he hadn’t posed next to a Great Egret.

Great Egret and Snowy Egret at the Horicon Marsh

 

[1] Donald and Lillian Stokes, Field Guide to Birds:  Eastern Region (Boston:  Little, Brown and Company, 1996), 35.

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