Pied Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

I’ve only seen a Pied-billed Grebe once before in this body of water, about a year ago. This one cruised eastward off the north shore of the park, taking quick dives. As I noted earlier, this bird has a superpower: unlike other divers, it has complete control over its buoyancy and can cruise underwater with just its head sticking above, like a submarine with a periscope. It can also do a crash-dive, pushing its body downward with a thrust of its wings, throwing water several feet in the air. Its jaws are stubby and powerful; they make short work of crabs and other crustaceans, as well as anything else with protein. In the summer, their beaks turn white with a distinctive black band.

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