Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The pied-billed grebe is a common water fowl seen on many ponds and lakes through out North America, as well as part of South America. At first glance many people would classify them as a small duck however since it is a grebe it does not have webbed feet like a duck does. Instead it has three individual toes, each of which is lobed at the end which helps the grebe to swim.
Pied-billed grebes spend most of their lives in the water. They hunt by diving under the water in search of crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects and small fish, as seen in the pictures above. When predators are in the area the pied-billed grebe will most often sink under the water to escape rather then flying away. Nesting also occurs on the water. They form an open bowl shaped nest made of floating vegetation which is usually anchored by cattails. When the young are born they soon leave the nest, riding on their parents back for several weeks until they are able to swim on their own.