Pied-billed Grebe

1/1600s at f5.6 ISO:400, Canon Mark III 1Ds w/800mm

The Pied-billed Grebe breeds in south-central Canada, throughout the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and temperate South America. The most widespread of North American grebes, it is found on many open waters, such as remote ponds, marshes, and sluggish streams. It is usually the first grebe to arrive on northern inland waters in springtime, and the last to leave in autumn. It is rare on salt water. It creates an open bowl type nest in a platform of floating vegetation, loosely anchored by the cattails to float with the waves. When it leaves its nest it covers its eggs with vegetation. After a period of time the vegetation will stain the eggs and help conceal them better. Pied-billed Grebes feed mainly on aquatic invertebrates, and also on small fish and amphibians (frogs, tadpoles). Pied-billed Grebes have been shown to eat their own feathers to aid in digestion (prevent injury from small bones).
Medicine Creek, NE