Friday, July 3, 2015

Baby Grebes Spotted! The Pied Billed Grebe.

Yesterday, we spotted a family of baby grebes on our 12 acre lake.
Pied-billed Grebe Photo
Photo by Gerrit Vyn
Image result for baby grebeGrebes are very small to begin with.  They are a diving duck, less than half the size of a typical mallard.  Watching
them dive for food is pretty amazing because they are underwater for over a minute and cover a lot of area while underwater.

I tried to get some pics, but they were shy.  So here's some I found on the web.  I'll keep looking and hopefully they will swim close enough where I can get a good picture of them to share with you.

Information about Grebes from: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pied-billed_Grebe/lifehistory
Part bird, part submarine, the Pied-billed Grebe is common across much of North America. These small brown birds have unusually thick bills that turn silver and black in summer. These expert divers inhabit sluggish rivers, freshwater marshes, lakes, and estuaries. They use their chunky bills to kill and eat large crustaceans along with a great variety of fish, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Rarely seen in flight and often hidden amid vegetation, Pied-billed Grebes announce their presence with loud, far-reaching calls
Adult Nonbreeding
Photo by Bill Benish
  • Pied-billed Grebes are fairly poor fliers and typically stay on the water—although rare individuals have managed to fly as far as the Hawaiian Islands, Europe, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.
  • Pied-billed Grebes live on bodies of flat or sluggish, fresh to slightly brackish water, at altitudes from sea level to about 8,000 feet. They forage in open water but construct their floating nests using materials and anchors of aquatic vegetation and/or dense stands of emergent vegetation—plants that root underwater with leaves and stems that extend into air. Habitat types include freshwater wetlands, wet fields, bays, sloughs, marshes, lakes, slow-moving rivers, and even sewage ponds. Pied-billed Grebes can nest in moderately to heavily populated areas. They occupy similar habitats during migration and winter.
  • Image result for baby grebe pile
  • Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size
    2–10 eggs
    Number of Broods
    1-2 broods
    Incubation Period
    23–27 days
    Egg Description
    Bluish white to greenish white, rarely turquoise, and unmarked.
    Condition at Hatching
    Downy and active, the chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and climb onto the adult's back where they are brooded during their first week of life.

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