Pied-billed Grebe

Feathered Focus

Hey guys, welcome back! Today is our first grebe species. But, just what the heck is a grebe? They kinda look like if a duck crossed with a heron, and the offspring had the most awkward features of both. Grebes are currently in their own taxonomic order, though their place within bird taxonomy has been debated for decades. Currently, they are grouped most closely with flamingoes of all things. One thing that seems conclusive is that grebes are an ancient lineage, potentially having ancestors from the cretaceous period! Though they swim and dive like a duck might, they do not have webbed feet. Instead, they have lobed toes, like the American Coot from a previous post. They also swim kind of more like frogs than ducks. All around, grebes are strange little birds.

Pied-billed Grebe Pied-billed Grebe, Central Park, New York

The Pied-billed Grebe is the most common grebe species in the…

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