Sunday 8 January 2012: Juvenile Australasian crested grebe
Also known as great crested grebes or southern crested grebes.
Maori Name: Puteketeke
A family of grebes has taken up residence on a lake near Christchurch. This year they have raised at least 2 young. Although the lake has been affected by the quakes in some ways it's better for the birds as the banks have slumped badly and a lot of trees have ended up growing in the water. Since grebes build stick platforms for nests, this has meant there are more suitable places, away from the shore.
Here, as in many places, it is necessary for them to be away from the shore because of (usually uncontrolled) dogs.
Sad really, as people don't realize their pet is causing so much stress to native birds just by running about barking, or splashing in the water. Perhaps, along with more education, more dog parks is the answer where caring owners could exercise their pet and not be threatening birdlife. There will always be those who don't care, but a lot of people just don't understand the problems.
My pet rant! And I certainly don't blame the dogs.
For more info:NZ Birds