|Immature Pied-billed Grebe|
The pied-billed grebe is a good example of a bird that knows the meaning of family. Both parents share the duty of incubating the eggs. If they have to leave the nest alone for an extended period of time they will cover the eggs up with nesting material to keep them safe. When the chicks are born they are not able to swim very well for several weeks so they get around by hitching a ride on mom or dad's back. Sometimes the parent will even hunt with the chick on their back, diving under the water with the chick riding shotgun. Even after they are able to swim on their own they will still jump on their parents back if there is danger. Eventually they get to the point where they are too big to hitch a ride any more, like the one above, but the parents will still feed them while they are teaching them the lessons that they will need to survive on their own.