These juvenile Pied-billed Grebes (Podilymbus podiceps) images were created at Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area, just to the north of Salt Lake City, Utah.
This is a hatch year Pied-billed Grebe and it still shows some of the camouflage that the immature birds have to help them hide from predators. This bird is in the “Stripe-head stage” but it is not nearly as striped as younger Pied-billed Grebes are.
As I observed and photographed this immature Pied-billed Grebe it preened some, did a few stretches and fluffed up it feathers. The image above shows the lobed foot of the bird.
Personally, I think that Pied-billed Grebes (of any age) are fun to photograph because they are so feisty with each other, they often chase each other around when one of them catches a fish in an effort to steal it away.
Pied-billed Grebes can live to be at least 3 years old, if not longer. They are rarely seen in flight because they migrate at night. They are capable of long distance flights, some Pied-billed Grebes have flown to Europe, the Azores and the Canary Islands. ¹
It won’t be long before the adult Pied-billed Grebes in this area begin the nesting season and more of these young grebes will be seen floating on the water near the adults, begging for food or chasing after each other.
¹ Birds of North America