Podiceps nigricollis, C. L. Brehm, 1831, Germany. Three subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Black-necked grebe; French: Grиbe а cou noir; German: Schwartzhalstaucher; Spanish: Zampullнn Cuellinegro.
11–13 in (28–34 cm); averages 0.7 lb (325 g) while breeding, but may weigh over 1.3 lb (600 g) while staging. Females with smaller bills than males. Adult breeding: back blackish, crested head, neck and upper breast black with tuft of golden plumes behind eye, sides chestnut, rest of underparts, and secondaries white. Eyes bright red, bill black. Nonbreeding with less developed crest, blackish crown reaching to below eye where grading with white cheeks and throat, neck and sides gray; immature similar, but more brownish, especially on neck; striped pattern of head soon wearing off.
P. n. nigricollis: Europe and western Asia, in winter in southwestern part of range; P. n. gurneyi: South Africa; P. n. californicus: southwestern North America, in winter south to Guatemala.
Small, shallow, eutrophic lakes with open water and scattered patches of reed. Molts and winters on saline lakes and on coasts.
Gregarious. In small groups where breeding, in large flocks when molting. In North America over two million stage on just a few lakes.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Sometimes feeds in organized groups. Eats tiny arthropods, only rarely fish.
Courtship display well developed. Monogamous, but nests colonially, often far from shore, usually a few together but occasionally up to 2,000 pairs in one colony, often in association with marsh terns and smaller gulls, but away from coots and other grebes. Usually single-brooded, eggs 2–4, incubation period 20–22 days.
Not threatened. The most numerous of all grebes, with a world population exceeding 5 million birds, most occurring in North America. Numbers fluctuate greatly and species at risk while molting, when large parts of the population are concentrated on just a few lakes in flightless condition.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved