: A Fascinating Waterbird
The Horned Grebe, also known as Slavonian Grebe, is a unique waterbird that belongs to the family of grebes. This species has distinctive black and white breeding plumage with a bright red eye and two golden “horns” on its head during courtship displays.
Horned Grebes are small to medium-sized birds measuring around 13 inches in length and weighing approximately 1 pound. Their wingspan ranges from 20-24 inches, making them compact flyers with short necks and tails. They have sharp bills for catching fish underwater and webbed feet for paddling efficiently.
Where To Find This Bird:
Horned Grebes can be found throughout North America in freshwater lakes, marshes, ponds or saltwater bays near coastal areas year-round. During migration season (late fall through early spring), they can also be spotted along the coasts of California, Texas, Florida and other southern states.
These birds prefer shallow water habitats surrounded by vegetation where they can dive up to depths of over 100 feet searching for food such as crustaceans, insects or small fish like minnows.
The Horned Grebe feeds mostly on aquatic insects like dragonflies or mayflies during non-breeding season but switches to fish diet when breeding starts usually between May-July in northern regions. They often catch their prey by diving down swiftly from the surface using their strong legs.
1) The Horned Grebe is one of the few bird species capable of swallowing their own feathers which helps form pellets that help digest indigestible materials.
2) They use their colorful crests (horns) during courtship dances which involve synchronized swimming displaying dominance over each other.
3) These species make high-pitched whistling calls that sound like laughter.
4) Unlike most migratory birds, the Horned Grebe is known to travel long distances over open water where they are at risk of predation from gulls or Bald Eagles.
In conclusion, these small but fascinating birds have a unique set of behaviors and characteristics that make them an interesting subject for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Their ability to survive in different environments makes them adaptable creatures worth protecting for future generations to enjoy.