...when Matty and I saw these two Pied-billed Grebes swimming side by side, we thought it was a mama and a baby, but then we did a second take. It was only March 22, which seemed a little early for a baby to have matured to this size. When we looked through the binocs we were really stumped. The "baby" had the breeding plumage of an adult. I know males can be a little bigger than females, but this strange couple must have been made up of the biggest of big males and the smallest of small females...
...when we watched this couple from the bank, the size difference seemed much larger than what was captured in the photo, but even here, you can see how much bigger the male was. The female really did look like a juvenile. I don't get to see breeding pairs very often. I usually only see single birds when they are migrating through and floating solo, so maybe this is a normal size difference.
...we saw this Pied-billed Grebe couple at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve earlier this year in March.
...pencil sketch of the mismatched Pied-billed Grebe couple (the size difference is slightly exaggerated in the sketch, but in real life, the male looked much larger as appears in this sketch--compared to how he appears in the photos).
Painting 178. Pied-billed Grebe Blue
After I painted the painting, I took a spray bottle and sprayed the whole thing, letting the colors mix and drip down the page. It was painted quickly and sprayed before the paint had totally dried.