The fall migration is in full swing here in Minnesota and one of the birds that we often see around this time of the year, as well as early spring, are the pied-billed grebe. The Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin offer a lot of excellent habitat for the waterfowl to use as a stop over on their long flights. The many lakes, rivers, ponds and other wetlands offer a place where they can find food and rest.
Fall is fun, because it is a great time to observe immature birds who are making the trip for the first time. Pied-billed grebes nest through out most of North America and Central America as well as the southern portions of South America. Many stay on their breeding grounds all year round, but those that nest in the northern portions of their range, Canada, the Great Lakes area and Midwest United States, migrate south for the winter.
Immature grebes usually stay fairly close to an adult. The adult keeps a wary eye out for danger and will also feed the young fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. If danger is near the grebes will sink under the water instead of flying away. The young will follow the lead of the adult. These pics were taken at Crex Meadows in Wisconsin.