Horned Grebe

General description.

The Horned Grebe's breeding plumage is an arresting combination of rufous flank and neck, black back and head, sporting golden tufts of feathers beginning at the Grebe's red eyes, giving him a beautifully diabolic demeanor. Its bill is small and pointed. In winter the Horned Grebe's upper parts remain dark, but chin and throat is white. This small grebe is an aquatic diving bird like his cousins, the Pied-billed and Eared Grebe, and even its young can swim and dive immediately after hatching, but more oten hitch a ride on the parent's backs.

Flight pattern.

Seldom seen in flight, migrating at night. Remain stationary in winter.

Breeding habits.

The Horned Grebe breeds in freshwater marshes, but moves to the Coast in the Fall, inhabiting open bays and ocean and, therefore, considered a salt water bird.

Calls or song.

The Horned Grebe uses a variety of pair bonding and territorial calls from trills, "dji-ji-ji-ji-ji-ji-jrrh" to a staccatto stuttering, "kru-vu-kru-vu-kru-vu" to a loud and nasal "aaanrrh" ending in a rattle.

Population and distribution.

Found in Alaska, Northern Canada and Northwestern United States; wintering on Pacific coast.

Nesting habits.

4-7 bluish-white eggs, stained buff, laid on floating vegetation anchored to marsh plants.
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