Western Grebe

General description.

The Western Grebe has a long, slender bill, which is greenish-yellow. It displays a white wing stripe when in flight. Western Grebe feet, like all grebes, are not webbed like a duck's, rather they are lobed; the toes flattening out like paddles, making the Western Grebe and its species incredible divers. The mating ceremony of the Western Grebe is extraordinary. The pair seems to be, literally, walking on water as they dance together in an upright position.

Flight pattern.

Western Grebes fly in loose flocks.

Breeding habits.

The Western Grebe breeds in large colonies on large, freshwater lakes among the rushes, from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Minnesota to Southern California. After the chicks fledge, the Western Grebe family moves on to coastal regions.

Calls or song.

The Western Grebe's courting advertising call is a harsh "cree creet". In defense of the nest, the Western Grebe repeats a "tuk-tuk-tuk." These vocalizations can be heard mostly early morning, late afternoon and early evening.

Population and distribution.

As a "coastal bird", the Western Grebe is often victim of oil spills and insecticides, that build up in the food supply and reduce the chances of breeding success.

Nesting habits.

3-4 bluish-white eggs, stained brown or buff. Nests float in the marsh, anchored to plant life.
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