Great grebes group glimpsed growing

PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
The population of great crested grebes nesting on artificial breeding platforms at Lake Wanaka marina suddenly increased yesterday.

The breeding pairs from platforms number four and 15 were spotted swimming around the marina with their freshly hatched chicks on their backs, feeding them fish and downy feathers to swallow as protection from sharp fish bones.

Retired zoologist and Lake Wanaka marina grebes project founder John Darby said this year the grebe breeding season was the latest since the project began in 2013.

Grebes carry their chicks on their backs as they swim until they are independent.

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