Grebes are a fairly common grebe in the state, more so than
the similar Horned Grebe. They are
also found in parts of Europe and Asia. They are a very gregarious bird, often breeding in very
large colonies, and often migrating together in huge flocks. The
"ear" of the Eared Grebe is a tuft of gold feathers behind the eye
that appears during breeding season (see bottom photo). The photo on the right is of a bird
in breeding plumage. Neck color is a distinguishing mark used to differentiate
summer plumage Eared Grebes and Horned Grebes.
Habitat: Sloughs and marshes, shallow
ponds and lakes with herbaceous wetlands.
Diet: Mostly aquatic insects and
crustaceans, occasionally tadpoles, small frogs, and small fish.
Behavior: Feeds by diving underwater and
propelling itself by its feet. Will also take food items from the
surface of the water.
Nesting: June and July
Song: Generally silent, with soft mutterings in
Migration: Summers on interior
lakes of the west and northern plains, summers along the Pacific Coast, the Gulf
Coast, and Mexico.
Conservation Status: Widespread and common, with no discernible
declines in population.
eNature.com: Eared Grebe
Whatbird.com: Eared Grebe
Photo Information: April 30th, 2005 -- Lake Thompson, Kingsbury County -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Eared Grebe photos.