He's fluffling himself, and the vibrations spread as if he were a tuning fork. I don't really understand how grebe plumage can be at once so fluffy and waterproof. I think it has to do with sleeking down, and abundant oil in the feathers. Really, though, they look like feather dusters, and you wouldn't dunk one of those in the water and expect it to float. Just another mystery to leave unsolved.
I had a pied-billed grebe in my hand who had hit a powerline years ago. He weighed a full pound. I was amazed at the density and heft for his size. Ballast for dives, I guess. They're powerful birds, who migrate at night on tiny narrow wings. So much we don't know or appreciate about grebes. They are extremely cool birds.
There were so many wonderful things hidden in the reeds that walking the marvelous boardwalks was like being in a Highlights for Children double-page spread. Oh look. An American bittern!
who sleeked down when he saw a small fish.
The challenge as a photographer is to get the birds framed up in those golden moments before they fly across the facade of the hotel, the marina, the electrical tower. Bill of the Birds took these two roseate spoonbill shots. I forget why he had my camera in his hands but he responded beautifully to GIT 'IM GIT 'IM GIT 'IM which is what I hissed when the spoonbill took off.