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Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed grebe
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Podilymbus podiceps

The Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps ) is a member of the grebe family of water birds, described as small (12"-15"), stocky, and short-necked.

The most widespread of North American grebes, it is found on remote ponds, marshes, and sluggish streams. Rare on salt water. This grebe rarely flies, preferring to escape danger by diving.

It dines on fish (carp, catfish, eels), insects (dragonflies, ants, beetles), and amphibians (frogs, tadpoles).

Distinguishing identifiers: Its short, blunt bill, which in summer is encircled by a broad black band (hence the name); the only grebe that does not show a white wing patch in flight; usually the first grebe to arrive on northern inland waters in springtime, and the last to leave in autumn.

Breeds across Canada, parts of the United States and temperate South America. Although this species does not appear to be a strong flier, it has occurred in Europe as a rare vagrant on a number of occasions, and one bird in England bred with a Little Grebe, producing hybrid young.

Usually silent, except in breeding season when the male voices a loud cuck, cuck, cuck or cow, cow, cow.

Folk names: dabchick, devil-diver, dive-dapper, hell-diver, water witch.

Podilymbus: a combination from Latin podicipes (rump foot) and Greek kolymbos (diver); podiceps: Latin for podicis (rump) and pedis (foot), referring to the placement of the legs on its body. .

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