Red-necked Grebe - Podiceps grisegena
The red-necked grebe is a medium-sized aquatic bird that is 13-17 inches in length with a wingspan of around 32 inches. It has a long neck; a straight, long black bill that is yellow at the base; and black legs and feet that are set far back on its body. It has a black cap, grayish-white cheeks, and a brown body. During breeding season it has a rusty red neck and breast. In the non-breeding season it has a gray neck and breast. Young red-necked grebes have black and white zebra-striped heads and necks. Males and females look alike, but males are a little larger.
The red-necked grebe's breeding ground runs from Alaska and northern Canada south to Oregon, Idaho, southern Minnesota, and Ontario. It winters along both coasts south to California and Georgia. It is also found in Europe and Asia.
The red-necked grebe eats minnows and other small fish, crayfish, tadpoles, salamanders, insects, and aquatic plants. When it is looking for food, it often swims with its head underwater and then dives when it spots food. Sometimes it scoops up food from the surface of the water.
The female red-necked grebe lays 2-6 eggs. The nest is made on a floating mass of reeds and grass. The eggs hatch in about three weeks. The chicks fledge when they are between 50 and 70 days old. Both parents care for the young.
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Tomas Belkas