Beyond the BackyardLake Apopka

A Third Pied-Billed Grebe Nest at Lake Apopka

This summer at Lake Apopka, I’ve been keeping an eye on a far-off lump of dirt.  It’s positioned far off in the marsh, behind several layers of vegetation.  You have to position yourself carefully in one specific location to get a semi-obstructed view of this little island floating on the water.  Why the interest in this particular location?  Well, it’s a third Pied-billed Grebe nest!

Pied-billed Grebe on Nest
Pied-billed Grebe Nest

I first noticed the nest on July 1.  This is a highly cropped image taken with the Beast and a 2x teleconverter.  I checked on the nest with each subsequent visit.

The First Two Babies
The First Two Babies

On July 2, I spotted two tiny babies sitting on the nest under Mom’s tummy. You could hear their tiny peep-peep-peeps clearly all the way across the water.  But the intriguing thing was that Mom continued to incubate, and before I left, I saw her turning some additional eggs…

Turning the Eggs
Turning the Eggs

On July 4, there were additional babies wiggling on the nest.  It was hard to get a clear picture, but there are clearly four little heads sticking out from under Mom.  She had her hands full with that family!

Four Little Heads
Four Little Heads at the Pied-billed Grebe Nest

The nest was empty on my following visits.  I spotted the birds nearby, but they quickly found ways to hide in the dense vegetation.  I keep hearing them, though, so I know they are doing well.  It’s been such fun following the grebe families on the wildlife drive this summer. :)