If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Western Grebe.

The male and female in a mated Western Grebe pair build the nest together. The nest is built from material found underwater, used to build a supportive mound on water or adjacent to water. Incubation is done by both partners and takes around 24 days. Within minutes of leaving the egg, chicks are able to climb upon the back of a parent. The adults take turns swimming with and feeding the chicks.

Nesting Western Grebes
Nesting Western Grebes by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY 2.0)
Baby Grebe
Baby Grebe by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY 2.0)
Western Grebe and chicks by
Western Grebe and chicks by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY 2.0)
Western Grebes Have Baby Races Too by
Western Grebes Have Baby Races Too by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY 2.0)
Western Grebe Carrying a Baby Grebe on Its Back
Western Grebe Carrying a Baby Grebe on Its Back by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY 2.0)

Cute Western Grebe Gifts

We're adding new birds each day until we reach our 500th Birdorable species! Today's Bonanza bird is Clark's Grebe.

Clark's Grebe

Clark's Grebe is a large species of grebe found in western North America. They breed along inland lakes; most of the population migrates to habitat along the Pacific Ocean for the winter.

Clark's Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii)
Clark's Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii) by Kevin Cole (CC BY 2.0)

This species can be distinguished from the Western Grebe by face color and bill color. The two are very similar in appearance and were considered to be the same species until the 1980s.

clarks grebe

Tomorrow's bird lives in Africa. It is very pretty. You might even call it Superb!

bonanza-2013-preview-14

We've just added two new coloring pages with Birdorables from the grebe family. The Pied-billed Grebe is a cute little diving bird that lives across the Americas. The Great Crested Grebe is a larger grebe that can be found in Europe and Asia. Go to Coloring Pages to download these two new PDFs. You can check our Meet the Birds page to get some color guidance.

Birdorable Coloring Pages: Pied-billed Grebe and Great Crested Grebe

These downloads will be available until 15 May 2011. Check here for more coloring pages. Subscribe to the Birdorable Blog by RSS feed or by email to get notified when new downloads like this are added. Have you used our coloring pages at home, in your classroom, or at an event? We'd love to hear about it! Send us photos of the pages in action, or the final result - we may showcase them on our blog!

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

Birdorable Western Grebe family

The Western Grebe, with its sleek silhouette and dramatic courtship displays, has recently been added to Birdorable, bringing a touch of whimsy to this distinguished water bird. Native to North America, Western Grebes are celebrated for their elegance, aquatic prowess, and the intricate dances that define their mating rituals. 

Living predominantly on lakes and coastal waters, Western Grebes have adapted perfectly to their aquatic environments. Their long, slender necks and striking black-and-white plumage make them a sight to behold, gliding gracefully over the water's surface. However, it's their courtship dance that truly sets them apart, a ballet so synchronized and fervent it seems almost too fantastical to be real. During these rituals, pairs of grebes perform a mesmerizing display that culminates in a frenetic dash across the water, side by side, creating the illusion of walking on water. This display of agility and coordination is not just a testament to their physical capabilities but also a critical part of their bonding process.

Beyond the spectacle of their courtship, Western Grebes exhibit remarkable familial bonds. Both parents are deeply involved in the upbringing of their chicks, from incubation to teaching them to swim and dive for food. Perhaps one of the most heartwarming sights is that of grebe chicks riding securely on the backs of their parents, peeking out from among the feathers. This not only keeps the young safe from underwater predators but also provides a warm, secure platform from which to explore the world.

Cute Western Grebe Gifts