Skip to main content

An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, the Black-Necked Grebe

Apr 27, 2017 10:31AM ● Published by Paul Spear

Gallery: Black-Necked Grebe [11 Images] Click any image to expand.

An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Bryan Brillhart Photography present the “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, the Black-Necked Grebe

This Week’s “Bird of the Week” is the Black-Necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), known in 

 North America as the eared grebe. It is a member of the grebe family of water birds and occurs on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

It is a common grebe of freshwater lakes in the west. Gregarious at all seasons, it nests in dense colonies, and sometimes congregates in huge numbers on lakes during migration and winter. Probably as an adaptation to life in the arid west, it is flexible in distribution, quickly taking advantage of temporary or man-made new bodies of water.It forages by diving and swimming underwater, propelled by feet, and also takes many insects 

 and other items from the surface of water. it’s diet is mostly insects and crustaceans, feeding on insects (such as aquatic beetles, dragonfly larvae, flies, mayflies), crustaceans, mollusks, tadpoles, and a few small fish. During an autumn stopover on large alkaline lakes, it may feed mainly on brine shrimp. Young are fed mainly on insects. Like other grebes, it sometimes eats feathers.

Mothers usually lay 3-5, rarely 1-6 eggs. Whitish at first, they become nest-stained brown. Incubation (by both sexes) is about 21 days. Young leave the nest after the last egg hatches, and are tended and fed by both parents. Adults may separate, each taking part of the brood. 

 Young may ride on parents' backs when small. Chicks may be independent by 21 days after hatching, but the age at first flight is not well known. There is one brood per year, rarely 2.

Courtship displays are complex. The male and female may swim side by side while turning their heads and calling loudly, facing each other while rearing up out of water and turning their heads from side to side. At the climax of the display the pair may rear up to vertical position and rush across surface of water side by side. Their nest is built by both sexes, a floating platform of weeds, anchored to standing vegetation in shallow water.

Populations generally stable, but vulnerable because large numbers depend on just a few major lakes at some seasons (such as Great Salt Lake, Mono Lake, Salton Sea).

Look for this handsome bird with it’s bright red eyes in our own Tijuana Estuary along the many trails there. Happy birding!

                                            ###

If you would like to see more of Bryan's Bird Photos you can click on this link:

Bryan Brillhart Photography or Bird of the Week

 

Bryan Brillhart


  

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Dig Imperial Beach's free newsletter to catch every headline

Nature & Pets
  • Boy Scout Troop 866 Meeting

    11/20/2017
    06:15PM — 08:00PM

    Meeting Every Monday 6:15pm in Fellowship Hall at St James Church For More Info contact: Tim Li...


ARCRADIO's Podcast Covering Local Bands & Music Events

Arc Radio Ep 13 with Pete

In episode 13 Allen and Cory interview Allen's long-time friend and former boss Pete about Deb's Cookies, his work at the San Diego Fair, the Patriots conspiracies for winning so much and Pete's Who concert experiences and memorabilia collection.