10 Fascinating Facts About the Pied-billed Grebe

Birdorable Pied-billed Grebe

Dive into the intriguing world of the Pied-billed Grebe, a fascinating bird that might not grab headlines but certainly deserves a moment in the spotlight. Here are 10 captivating facts about this modest avian marvel:

  1. Pied-billed Grebes are Excellent Swimmers: These birds are adapted to life in the water, using their lobed feet to propel themselves with ease when diving for fish and insects.

  2. Their Bills Change Color: In the breeding season, the bill of the Pied-billed Grebe turns a distinctive white with a black band, earning them their "pied" name.

  3. Grebes Sink to Escape Danger: Unlike most birds that take flight, Pied-billed Grebes can sink quietly into the water to avoid predators, disappearing without a trace.

  4. They are Poor Flyers: While capable of flight, Pied-billed Grebes are rarely seen doing so. Their strong legs are set far back on their body, making takeoffs awkward and landings splashy.

  5. Pied-billed Grebes are Solitary Birds: Outside of breeding season, they prefer to keep to themselves, often seen alone on ponds and lakes.

  6. Their Vocalizations are Unique: The calls of Pied-billed Grebes include a series of loud, cuckoo-like calls and a strange, pumping noise.

  7. Baby Grebes Can Swim at Birth: Almost immediately after hatching, Pied-billed Grebe chicks are in the water, swimming under the watchful eyes of their parents.

  8. They Eat Their Own Feathers: Both adults and chicks consume feathers, which help prevent injury from fish bones and form a plug in the stomach to trap and digest bones more efficiently.

  9. Pied-billed Grebes Build Floating Nests: Their nests are anchored to plants in the water, providing safety from predators and rising water levels.

  10. They Have a Wide Range: Pied-billed Grebes can be found across the Americas, from Canada to Argentina, adapting to various freshwater habitats.

The Pied-billed Grebe might not be as flashy as some of its avian counterparts, but its unique characteristics and behaviors make it a remarkable species worthy of attention and admiration. Whether you're a seasoned birdwatcher or new to the avian world, keeping an eye out for these intriguing creatures can add an exciting element to your next outdoor adventure.

Pied-billed Grebe by Susan Young (public domain)

Cute Pied-billed Grebe Gifts

Comments

Ashira on December 18, 2010 at 1:18 PM wrote:
That juvenile plumage is simply smashing! I think there should be a grebe that looks like that for its entire life. :3
Ebony Durrah on April 27, 2016 at 12:34 PM wrote:
They are so cute and awesome.
Gene Swift on October 26, 2016 at 6:20 PM wrote:
I live on a marsh, in Michigan and had been unable to identify the :laughing hyena" that resided there. After 5 years of wondering, a grebe, swimming just 20 feet away, called-out and solved my "Denizen of the Swamp mystery." We have three pairs and we love watching them daily from March through November.
Jaxson avila on May 8, 2021 at 2:57 AM wrote:
Thanks for the info i need it for a school project!
Spurwing Plover on May 8, 2022 at 7:14 AM wrote:
Also called Hellerdiver

Leave a comment

Comments with links or HTML will be deleted. Your comment will be published pending approval.
Your email address will not be published
You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information on how to unsubscribe, our privacy practices, and how we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy. By clicking submit below, you consent to allow Birdorable to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.

Baby Birdorable: Black Stork

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Black Stork. Black Storks build large nests, typically in a very tall forest trees. Clutch size is usually 3-4 eggs; incubation...

2017 Bonanza Bird #4: Blue-headed Macaw

Today this pretty parrot joins Birdorable as the 4th bird in our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza: the Blue-headed Macaw! Blue-headed Macaws are small macaws found in western parts of South America, where their preferred habitat is humid forest. They are often found near...

2019 Bonanza Bird #5: Spectacled Flowerpecker

Today's new Birdorable is really a brand new bird! The Spectacled Flowerpecker was officially described by science in October of this year. The bird was first sighted in Borneo in 2009, but a specimen wasn't available for detailed study until March...

New Coloring Pages for Vulture Week

We're celebrating Vulture Week because this Saturday, September 5th, marks International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD). This commemorative day has been celebrated since at least 2009 and aims to highlight the importance of vultures and vulture conservation through education. Today we'd like to share four brand new vulture-themed coloring...