Pied-billed grebe Facts

Pied-billed grebe Facts
Pied-billed grebe is a bird that belongs to the grebe family. It can be found in North, Central and South America. Pied-billed grebe inhabits freshwater ecosystems such as lakes, ponds, estuaries and rivers. These birds were often hunted in the past due to ornamental feathers on their breasts that were used for decoration of ladies' hats. Certain populations of pied-billed grebes are listed as endangered or threatened as a result of destruction of the wetland habitats and pollution of the water with pesticides.
Interesting Pied-billed grebe Facts:
Pied-billed grebe can reach 12 to 15 inches in length and 10 to 18 ounces of weight.
Pied-billed grebe has dark brown body with black patch on the throat and light brown or gray colored feathers on the lateral sides of the neck and flanks. Its plumage is soft and lustrous.
Pied-billed grebe has short, blunt bill, stocky body and short tail.
Pied-billed grebe has long legs with lobed toes. Legs are positioned near the end of the body to ease diving. Pied-billed grebes are clumsy on the solid ground thanks to unusual morphology and position of the legs.
Name "pied-billed" refers to bluish-gray bill with black vertical stripe on both of its sides (two-colored bill).
Diet of pied-billed grebe consists of small fish, nymphs of aquatic insects, snails, frogs, tadpoles, seed and soft, aquatic plants. It also eats its own feathers to facilitate digestion and increase tolerability toward the gastric parasites.
Pied-billed grebe is able to dive to a depth of 20 feet. Diving sessions usually last only 30 seconds.
Even though pied-billed grebe can escape from the predators using its wings, it prefers to dive and hide in the water.
Pied-billed grebes migrate toward the southern parts of the USA, Central and South America in the autumn. They spend winter on the rivers, estuaries and open lakes.
Pied-billed grebe produces cuckoo-like calls during the mating and nesting season.
Mating season of pied-billed grebes takes place during the April and May. Pair of birds is able to produce 2 broods per season.
Both male and female participate in the construction of the nest using the fresh and decomposing vegetation. Nest can be made between the stems of cattail or it can float freely on the surface of water.
Female lays 4 to 7 eggs that hatch after 23 days. Both parents take part in the incubation of eggs.
Chicks are mobile soon after hatching. They ride on the back of their parents until they learn to swim (usually one week later). By the age of 4 weeks, young pied-billed grebes are able to find food without help of their parents. Soon afterwards they become ready to fly. Young birds often live in small groups until the migration at the beginning of the fall.
Pied-billed grebe can survive 10 to 12 years in the wild.

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