Playtime

A white feather was floating on the surface of Eagle Lake (Lassen County CA) – most likely a pelican feather. I watched the feather as it bobbed about, trying to estimate where it might come ashore. The feather also caught the attention of several eared grebes (Podiceps nigricollis), who came over and began to “play” with the feather. The grebes lifted the feather into the air, dropped it, Pecked at it and passed it among themselves until eventually the feather got tattered and waterlogged and sunk. I have no scientific basis for my belief, but I do feel the grebes were amusing themselves with the feather.  They continued to bandy the feather about much longer that would be necessary to determine its edibility. I think the eared grebes were simply having grebe fun.

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