Time sometimes flies like a bird, …

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Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly.

An Ivan Turgenev quotation

Red-necked Grebe: Have you seen this bird?

Red-necked Grebe: Have you seen this bird?

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Red-necked Grebe

The Red-necked Grebe, Podiceps grisegena, is a migratory aquatic bird that is found in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.

In winter the Red-necked Grebe is a nondescript dusky-grey bird. However during the breeding season, this bird acquires the distinctive red neck plumage, black cap and contrasting pale grey face.

Identification Tips:
• Length: 13 inches Wingspan: 32 inches
• Sexes similar
• A large, long-necked grebe with a long bill
• Bill yellow at the base (most evident on breeding adults)
• White secondaries and leading edge of wing
• Feet set far back on body

Adult alternate:
• Black cap
• Reddish neck
• Pale gray face
• Blackish hindneck and back
• Whitish flanks and belly

Adult basic:
• Dark cap, hindneck and back
• Dark gray face and foreneck, white crescent on cheek
• Finger of white extending upwards at the rear of the head
• Whitish flanks and belly

Juvenile:
• Black and white striping on head and upper neck

Immature basic:
• Like adult basic, but face pattern less distinct

Similar species:
Loons are much larger with longer bodies and larger, darker bills. Horned and Eared Grebes are smaller with much shorter bills that are never yellow at the base. The grayish face and neck of Red-necked Grebe is distinctive in winter, as is the small finger of white extending upwards at the rear of the head. They are smaller than Western Grebe.

The Red-necked Grebe is a good swimmer. It’s a particularly swift diver which responds to danger by diving rather than flying. The feet of the Red-necked are positioned far back on the body, near the tail, which makes the bird ungainly on land. Water is where it’s comfortable for the bird.

These birds dive for fish or pick insects off vegetation. This type of Grebe also swallows its own feathers, possibly to protect the digestive system.

The Red-necked Grebe’s wintering habitat is mostly restricted to calm waters just beyond the waves around ocean coasts, although some birds may winter on large lakes. Grebes prefer shallow bodies of fresh water such as lakes, marshes or fish-ponds as breeding sites.

 

 

Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly.

An Ivan Turgenev quotation

 

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Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly.

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