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Western Grebe   (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Category: Birds

 

 

These accomplished divers eat mainly fish, which they capture either by spearing or with a forceps-like maneuver of their bill. This species winter primarily along the coast of North America, but spend their breeding seasons in colonies of hundreds of individuals on freshwater lakes and marshes. They are known for their spectacular courtship display where they rear up and patter across the water’s surface in unison.

 

Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Podicipediformes
Family - Podicipedidae
Genus - Aechmophorus
Species - A. occidentalis

 
Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Asleep at the wheel?

Can you imagine spending nearly all of your life in the air? The common swift doesn’t have to - it just does! From the day this bird learns to fly, it almost never touches the ground voluntarily - it eats, drinks, mates, and may even sleep while flying. While sleep walking can be problematic in humans, many birds have the ability to enter a state called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, where one half of the brain sleeps as the other remains alert. This method of “sleeping with one eye open,” is a great way to avoid becoming another animal’s meal, and has led to the suspicion that these birds, who almost never willingly land, also sleep while in flight!

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