American Coots are nothing if not full of character with their grunting calls, territorialistic temperament, dinosaur feet, and determination to dive – plump and buoyant as they are.
When you see this agressive stance you know a chase is imminent.
And away they go…
back and forth across the lake. They never seem to tire.
But eventually, after re-establishing the hierarchy, they settle down and get back to feeding.
Searching the lake floor for food.
Diving to the bottom takes more commitment.
Finding the surface again is easy… just stop what you are doing and a second later you pop back into the world above.
Oh the rarest of sightings… a Coot in actual flight. I think I might have hallucinated this right into the camera.
I was watching the Coots running around like mad but never expected to see the Pied-billed Grebes at North Lake adopt the water sprinting behaviour. Very cool.
Each little foot pounds the water’s surface for a split second and the pitter patter can be heard clear across the lake.
The Grebe begins to transition into torpedo mode…
And just that quickly the Grebe pops below the surface and then rises as if nothing had happened.
Hanging out at North Lake in Golden Gate Park last Sunday I watched the Pied-billed Grebes meandering around in all their fuzzy glory, chasing each other and delineating their territories. This one took a break from the festivities to bathe, have a drink, and then do something I’ve never seen a Grebe do… expel a pellet.
Here is the preparatory stage… working it up the gullet.
And there it goes! The orange color must be exoskeletons of crustaceans?
And were back to fuzzy cuteness again. Watching them this breeding season should be great fun.