Thursday, September 08, 2011

It's a duck. No, it's a grebe

What kind of bird comes to mind when you see these birds? Ducks? No, they are water birds but not from the duck family. These tiny birds are from the grebe family of freshwater diving birds. Little Grebes are the smallest in the grebe family and can be found in much of Asia.
In Singapore, there are two known locations where these birds are found - Singapore Quarry and Lorong Halus. The population at the Singapore Quarry site, according to fellow bird photographers, isn't doing well. This family that I've been watching at Lorong Halus are and they are thriving in a smelly pond in a disused refuse dumping ground. These two chicks are the second brood for the pair this year. The previous brood consisted of three chicks. However, I reckon that only one will survive to adulthood as the second has a badly deformed joint and its tarsus (lower leg) drags in the water. In the photo below you can see it sticking out of the water.
Chick on the left - tarsus sticking out of the water

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