This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is The Food of Love.
I gave this some thought and then remembered this photo. It shows a fairly common piece of behavior for various species of Grebes that researchers and scientists have yet to fully explain.
The photo shows an adult Great Crested Grebe feeding one of its breast feathers to two of its young. One theory suggests this behavior is an aid to digesting their food by protecting their stomach from sharp fish bones. Another theory is that the feathers help the birds form pellets of undigested fish bones allowing them to regurgitate the pellets.