Spring is in full swing in Alberta and the migratory birds have returned to their breeding grounds. This includes the eared grebes, which are well known for their elaborate courtship dances. Once paired up, it doesn’t take long to get down to the business at hand.
The first task is for the pair to build a small floating platform of vegetation and mud anchored to underwater plants. This platform needs to be large enough to allow the female to rest on it and sturdy enough to hold the weight of both birds.
No more than a few seconds later, the male used his large, lobed feet to paddle his way forward over the head of the female and back into the lake. Not the most graceful technique but given that they are the most abundant grebe in the world, it seems they have things figured out!