The Purple-Necked Grebe, Water Dancer Extraordinaire

Opposite to what their title suggests, Purple-necked Grebes aren’t resourceful nation people wielding duct tape and carrying overalls unironically. Nonetheless, these birds have a singular allure that’s all their very own. Learn on to find out about these deep-diving-feather-eating dapper dancers!

Purple-necked Grebe Identification

Nonbreeding Purple-necked Grebes have darkish gray backs, pale bellies, and light-weight colored cheeks and sides of neck. Breeding adults develop a rust-coloured pink breast and neck entrance, in addition to a black cap and well-defined silver cheek. These aquatic birds have lengthy necks and large, knife-like yellow payments. They’re bigger than most Grebes, however are a little smaller than a Mallard

These birds have small legs and wings, making take-offs troublesome and making them clumsy in flight and on land. Outdoors of migration, Purple-necked Grebes a lot desire swimming to air journey, and in the event that they’re attempting to make a fast getaway from a predator, they’re going to dive quite than fly away.

The place do Purple-necked Grebes dwell?

Purple-necked Grebes are migratory waterbirds that inhabit lakes, marshes, and coasts in temperate areas of the northern hemisphere, like northern North America, Europe, and Asia. They have a tendency emigrate over land at night time and off coastlines throughout the day. They normally wish to dwell in freshwater lakes and ponds in the summertime and saltwater bays and estuaries within the winter, preferring calm and shallow waters over tough waves. 

A Day within the Lifetime of a Purple-necked Grebe

Purple-necked Grebes construct nests made from vegetation that float on shallow marshy water, anchored by the stems of standing vegetation. They dive underwater on the lookout for fish to eat or they forage for bugs, invertebrates, crustaceans and waterside vegetation on the water’s floor. They are often territorial with regards to defending meals sources and their younger, and aren’t above low blows like attacking transgressors underwater and jabbing them within the abdomen with their sharp payments.

Nothing brings extra pleasure to the lifetime of a Purple-necked Grebe than mating season. Courtship shows of the Purple-necked Grebe are loud and complex, and complicated, with a cacophony of squeaks, wails, and even growls! Males elevate their good-looking crests, and ‘dance’ breast to breast with females, rising up out of the water and turning their heads facet to facet. May this tango be why a gaggle of Purple-necked Grebes are referred to as a “water dance” of grebes? For particularly fortunate girls, males bear presents of essentially the most succulent, verdant weeds from the underside of the waterbody. 

As soon as nests have been constructed, dinner has been eaten, adversaries have been chased away, and love has been discovered, it’s time to chill out. Like many birds, Purple-necked Grebe wish to chill with some self care by preening their feathers. Typically, they swallow their feathers and feed them to their chicks! The precise motive for that is unknown, although the habits might have the digestive advantage of defending the decrease tract from sharp, laborious, or indigestible materials like bone. 

Are Purple-necked Grebes endangered?

Though Purple-necked Grebes are thought-about a species of Least Concern, their inhabitants standing is just not well-known, and could also be barely declining resulting from polluted habitat of their winter coastal areas. Oil spills degrade habitat whereas industrial fishing nets can entangle the birds in lethal snares.

Purple-necked Grebes play an essential function of their habitats. They assist preserve the steadiness of the ecosystems they dwell in by protecting fish populations in test, whereas their eggs and chicks present meals for predators like eagles, mink, and pike.

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