Eared and Pied-billed Grebes

Since I ended up getting a nice photo of an Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) Sunday morning, I thought I would show it to you along with another type, the Pied-Billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).  An interesting thing about grebes is that they spend most of their time on the water.  Because of lobes on their feet that help them to be better swimmers, they are rather ungainly trying to walk on land.  They use floating nests among reeds and other growth.  When preening, they eat their own feathers and feed them to their young.

Eared Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe - adult

Pied-billed Grebe - adult winter

Pied-billed Grebe - juvenile

Adult pied-bills can be identified by the dark band around the bill.  Winter adults and juveniles do not have that band.  Grebes are rarely seen in flight.

I hope you enjoy these photographs, and also those that you can see by clicking on the Flickr Logo on the right side of this page.

24 thoughts on “Eared and Pied-billed Grebes

  1. Hi Bob – Great photographs, as always! I was quite taken with the fact that they eat their feathers and then feed them to their young. I have never heard of this before and surely that must make it one of the most efficient natural recycling processes in the world – it sounds strange, but I assume there must be a lot of sustenance within the structures of the feathers?



  2. Hello, I remember watching a pied -bill grebe and was fascinated as it slowly lowered itself into the water, straight down until its body was totally submerged. It didn’t dive, at least not that time.
    Enjoy your photos and text..

    • Yes, they do that. Sometimes the grebes set pretty low in the water when they swim. They do dive, and they come back up sometimes several yards away from where they went down. They’re cuties and fun to watch. Thanks for the compliments, Jane

  3. Bob just a question. We have been seeing what look like Robin Red Breast here and wondered if that was unusual. We live in the DFW area. Thanks Carolyn

    • Not unusual at all, Carolyn. The American Robin (official name) can be seen year around over the entire United States. Of course, they are not as plentiful as say, sparrows, grackles, doves, etc. But nevertheless, you are apt to see them anywhere in woods, gardens, lawns, parks, etc.

      Thanks for commenting, Carolyn.

  4. great photos..love the baby..also your logo flicker works fine..Grebes are interesting to observe. Thanks again for sharing..your work seems to get better every shot..

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