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Posts tagged ‘Migratory Water Birds’

The Coots are Back!

It is the time of year when many birds are migrating to their Winter homes.  I am always happy to see the return of the American Coots.  Coots are medium-sized water birds that resemble a cross between a duck and a chicken.  They love to dive for lake weeds and also eat seeds and grass.  The Coots are black with a white beak.  The Coots have large webbed, clawed feet.  The Coots also are great at flying.  They tend to be social and not terribly afraid of people.  Their chief predator is the Bald Eagle.  I only saw a pair of the Coots but those two were likely “Scouts” who fly ahead of the main flock to find safe and suitable lakes to land on.  The Coots are here in Cumberland County, TN from about late October through early April.

I have recently made a move from my lake home to a nearby small plot of land that also is near fresh water.  My new home has wildlife which I will take pictures of.  Additionally I will be having a large vegetable garden here at my new property next Spring and Summer.  I will occasionally be talking gardening on my posts but the focus will again mainly be wildlife watching.  Today’s post reflects pictures I took a few days ago on at the lake front home (as will several in coming days).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!  Have a safe and happy Halloween!

The Pied-billed Grebes Have Returned

Every year at about this time during the Fall, the Pied-billed Grebes come back to visit the lake.  They seem to stay around, except when the lake is totally frozen-over.  This group of about five younger Pied-billed Grebes seemed to be unafraid and curious about the shoreline area.  Previous groups or individual Grebes usually were quite shy and tended to dive under the water to avoid human presence of any kind.  Our lake has had little boat traffic recently since the marina is closed for the season.  It has been much quieter here on the water than in past weeks.

The Pied-billed Grebes are water birds but are not ducks.  They are great divers and eat insects, fish, and small water animals.  The birds get their names because the short bill has a slight banding of a darker color.  This band becomes much darker during the breeding season for the males.  These water birds do fly and also do most of their traveling on the lake by paddling like ducks do.  I was very happy to see the group of Pied-billed Grebes!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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