Pied-billed Grebe at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 19, 2017

One of my last birding stops of the day was at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee. Not a whole lot going on there but a Pied-billed Grebe gave some nice views. There were a few others present but they stayed farther out in the lagoon. The Pied-billed Grebe was fishing and getting something to eat too on a very gloomy day with temps in the low 50’s. Images were taken on April 19, 2017.

_rIMG_9875_cr

Pied-billed Grebe

Binomial name: Podilymbus podiceps

Category: Grebes

Size: 13” long, 16” wing span

Weight: 1 lb

flipped_rIMG_9944_cr

_rIMG_9953_cr

_rIMG_9954_cr

_rIMG_9955_cr

_rIMG_9956_cr

_rIMG_0297_cr

_rIMG_0119_cr

Brown Thrasher Sheridan Park

Brown Thrasher Sheridan Park

Great Egret one of 6 on Pennsylvania Ave

Great Egret, one of 6 on Pennsylvania Ave out in a flooded field

Horned Grebe at Grant Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on March 21, 2017

One of my last stops birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee today I spotted at Horned Grebe. This adult bird in non-breeding plumage did more resting than diving for food early afternoon while I was there. The rest of the lakefront was pretty quiet. Lakeshore State Park had about 100 winter ducks still hanging around. Images were taken on March 21, 2017.

___rIMG_8979_cr

Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

__r_IMG_8985_cr

___rIMG_8833_cr

___rIMG_8787_cr

___rIMG_8919_cr

Preening…

Resting but always watching...

Resting but always watching…

On the move...

On the move…

_____rIMG_8986_cr

Western Grebe at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 24, 2016

I made a run down to Milwaukee’s lakefront this morning to see if the Western Grebe was still present. It was, and I located the bird east of Discovery World but it was on the move and headed south. It spent the rest of the morning at the south end of Lakeshore State Park on the lake side. The bird has hung around now for at least 6 days. It typically hangs out with American Coots but sometimes was seen near Mallards too. A stunning bird out of it’s normal range from the dakotas and west just visiting our area. How long will it hang around? I guess time will tell. A sunny morning with some clouds early, cold northeast winds off the lake, it felt like winter is coming. Images were taken on October 24, 2016.

__rimg_4268_cr

Western Grebe

Binomial name: Aechmophorus occidentalis

Category: Grebes

Size: 25” long, 24” wing span

Weight: 3.3 lb

__rimg_4381_cr

__rimg_4274_cr

Preening

Preening

Best friends!

Best friends!

__rimg_4435_cr

__rimg_4209_cr

Preening

Preening

Coming around the corner

Coming around the corner

__rimg_4021_cr

__rimg_4008_cr

Western Grebe in the Milwaukee Harbor at Veterans Park on October 21, 2016

I had wanted to see the Western Grebe that was recently reported on Milwaukee’s Lakefront but was tied up until today. I went down to the lakefront early this morning and found the Western Grebe northeast of the Art Museum. The normal range for this bird is the dakotas and west which makes well out its of its range and a great visitor. It never came close to the shore but stayed a distance to give nice views with binoculars. The grebe really did no diving for food the first hour, but then that changed for the next couple hours as it did some diving. With pedestrians walking the walk along the shore for the time I was there I think that kept it from coming in close, my opinion. A few fishing boats that came into the harbor moved it around the area too, sometimes moving it pretty far out. The bird seemed nervous at times, who knows why. Not a life bird for me as I got the one at Bradford Beach back on 11/2010. Thanks to Lorri for finding this cool bird, and sharing it. A sunny sky to start the day but it then soon clouded over with stiff winds and cold temps from the north. Images were taken on October 21, 2016.

__rimg_3465_cr

Western Grebe

Binomial name: Aechmophorus occidentalis

Category: Grebes

Size: 25” long, 24” wing span

Weight: 3.3 lb

__rimg_3458_cr

Back view

Back view

__rimg_3476_cr

__rimg_3459_cr

Preening

Preening

__rimg_3404_cr

__rimg_3405_cr

__rimg_3406_cr

__rimg_3449_cr

__rimg_3350_cr

__rimg_3523_cr

The stretch!

___rrxximg_1633_cr

Brings up a fish and goes back under water with it?

Brings up a fish and goes back under water with it?

Pied-billed Grebe Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin October 23, 2014

I birded the lakefront  in Milwaukee last Thursday morning and it was pretty slow. The Glaucous Gull was still at Bradford Beach but that was the big event there. I think the Glaucous Gull has been present in the area since October 8, 2014. Lakeshore State Park was also slow except for a Pied-billed and Horned Grebe in their nonbreeding plumages. Later in the day I received the message on the Rufous Hummingbird in Waukesha County, the reason I am posting these images a little late. Images were taken on October 23, 2014.

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe

Binomial name: Podilymbus podiceps

Category: Grebes

Size: 13” long, 16” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds across North America in ponds and lakes that are seasonal or permanent. On those waters it prefers thick stands of emergent vegetation, sloughs and bays. If waters are frozen the will go to salt water.

Diet: Diving for fish, occasional plant material, crustaceans (mainly crayfish), and aquatic insects. Their feathers are also part of their diet along with giving them to their young. Feathers help in digestion to prevent damage by bones.

Nesting:  The nest is open bowl shaped made of vegetation, typically floats and is anchored by emergent vegetation. The female lays 3-10 light blue eggs, sometimes twice a year that both parents help incubate. The young are feed by both parents and are typically carried around on the adult backs.

Cool Facts: Small bird, stocky, short necked that dives up to 30 seconds at a time. They are known to dive for food with young on their back. Adults have a black ring around their chicken like bill during breeding season. A shy, not sociable bird that is sensitive to disturbances, are rarely found in flocks.

_r+__IMG_5956_cr

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

_r+__IMG_5940_cr

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

_r+__IMG_5978_cr

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds on small to medium sized, vegetated areas of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes. The breeding range is from northern central US north to northern regions of Canada and Alaska.

Diet: In summer mostly feed on aquatic insects which they get off the top of the water. They also eat crustaceans which they get diving under water. In winter their diet includes fish, crustacean and small aquatic animals.

Nesting:  The nest is a pile of wet plant material that is floating or sometimes on a rock. It is an open bowl and located near the water’s edge as this since the grebe legs are back far and they cannot walk well. The female lays 3-7 eggs white to light brown or light blue-green. The young are feed by both parents and can swim and dive usually the next day after hatching. The young often ride on the back of the parents back like loons do.

Cool Facts: This grebe eats some of its own feathers and they sit in their stomach and act as a filter and hold fish bones and other things till they are digested. One of the smaller grebes that is an excellent diver and swimmer that can stay under water for very long periods of time.

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage going for the dive!

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage going for the dive!

Horned Grebe Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin October 7, 2014

I birded the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning for a couple hours and it was pretty quiet. The highlight of the morning was a Horned Grebe at Lakeshore State Park. The two Pied-billed Grebes that were present for the last two days were still hanging around at the park. Other species present, a couple of Double-crested Cormorants, lots of Palm Warblers and about 40 American Coots. Two large boats flushed this grebe from where we were at and I could not relocate the bird after that. Other than the wind gusts, it was a beautiful morning to be out birding. Images were taken on October 7, 2014.

_rIMG_5620_cr

Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds on small to medium sized, vegetated areas of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes. The breeding range is from northern central US north to northern regions of Canada and Alaska.

Diet: In summer mostly feed on aquatic insects which they get off the top of the water. They also eat crustaceans which they get diving under water. In winter their diet includes fish, crustacean and small aquatic animals.

Nesting:  The nest is a pile of wet plant material that is floating or sometimes on a rock. It is an open bowl and located near the water’s edge as this since the grebe legs are back far and they cannot walk well. The female lays 3-7 eggs white to light brown or light blue-green. The young are feed by both parents and can swim and dive usually the next day after hatching. The young often ride on the back of the parents back like loons do.

Cool Facts: This grebe eats some of its own feathers and they sit in their stomach and act as a filter and hold fish bones and other things till they are digested. One of the smaller grebes that is an excellent diver and swimmer that can stay under water for very long periods of time.

_rIMG_5599_cr

_rIMG_5622_cr

_rIMG_5906_cr

Preening

Preening

Preening

_rIMG_5910_cr

_rIMG_5891_cr

_rIMG_5874_cr

_rIMG_5851_cr

The dive!

The dive!

The dive!

The dive!

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

_rIMG_5636_cr

_xyzIMG_7624_cr

_xyzIMG_7615_cr

_xyzIMG_7602_cr

To view images of the Horned Grebe from spring of 2014 going into breeding plumage, please click here.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebes on the Fox River in downtown Waukesha Wisconsin. Pied-billed Grebes have been present for at least a month now, along with the Horned Grebes which have been around for the last couple of weeks. One of the highlights today was watching a Pied-billed eat a Sunfish that appeared to be bigger than the head of the grebe, but surprisingly it did get it down. Sometimes they can be seen along the river edges or pier areas hunting for prey. They are also just in the middle of the river when bikers and walkers are in higher numbers along the river walk. Some duck species still hanging around on the river there were Common Goldeneye, Redhead, Red-breasted Mergansers, Scaups, Ring-necked, Bufflehead and American Coots. It was a beautiful morning on the river with low winds, the warm sun and above freezing temps. I have also included a few Horned Grebe images from today’s event. Photographs were taken on April 5, 2014.

_rIMG_5074_cr

Pied-billed Grebe

Binomial name: Podilymbus podiceps

Category: Grebes

Size: 13” long, 16” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds across North America in ponds and lakes that are seasonal or permanent. On those waters it prefers thick stands of emergent vegetation, sloughs and bays. If waters are frozen the will go to salt water.

Diet: Diving for fish, occasional plant material, crustaceans (mainly crayfish), and aquatic insects. Their feathers are also part of their diet along with giving them to their young. Feathers help in digestion to prevent damage by bones.

Nesting:  The nest is open bowl shaped made of vegetation, typically floats and is anchored by emergent vegetation. The female lays 3-10 light blue eggs, sometimes twice a year that both parents help incubate. The young are feed by both parents and are typically carried around on the adult backs.

Cool Facts: Small bird, stocky, short necked that dives up to 30 seconds at a time. They are known to dive for food with young on their back. Adults have a black ring around their chicken like bill during breeding season. A shy, not sociable bird that is sensitive to disturbances, are rarely found in flocks.

_rIMG_5070_cr

_rIMG_5072_cr

_rIMG_5081_cr

_rIMG_5085_cr

_rIMG_5107_cr

Back view of the Pied-billed Grebe just after taking down the fish.

Back view of the Pied-billed Grebe just after taking down the fish. You can see the upper neck is slightly larger than the head of the grebe.

_rIMG_5400_cr

_rIMG_5423_cr

Pied-billed Grebe, just resting

Pied-billed Grebe, just resting

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebes at take off!

Horned Grebes at take off!

Horned Grebe back view

Horned Grebe back view

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe April 5, 2014

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe April 5, 2014

Pied-billed Grebe, adult Horicon Marsh, August 1, 2010

Pied-billed Grebe, adult Horicon Marsh, August 1, 2010

 

Horned Grebe

The Fox River in downtown Waukesha Wisconsin has been pretty exciting with duck species the last couple of weeks and now Grebe species are showing up too. A striking Horned Grebe did some diving for food and gave some nice views this morning. A couple of Pied-billed Grebes gave distant views while I was there too. Duck species present today were Common Goldeneye (m-f), Red-breasted Mergansers (f), Scaups, Ring-necked (m-f) Bufflehead and American Coots. A sunny day, but the wind made for a cold one. Photographs taken on March 29, 2014._rIMG_4020_cr

Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds on small to medium sized, vegetated areas of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes. The breeding range is from northern central US north to northern regions of Canada and Alaska.

Diet: In summer mostly feed on aquatic insects which they get off the top of the water. They also eat crustaceans which they get diving under water. In winter their diet includes fish, crustacean and small aquatic animals.

Nesting:  The nest is a pile of wet plant material that is floating or sometimes on a rock. It is an open bowl and located near the water’s edge as this since the grebe legs are back far and they cannot walk well. The female lays 3-7 eggs white to light brown or light blue-green. The young are feed by both parents and can swim and dive usually the next day after hatching. The young often ride on the back of the parents back like loons do.

Cool Facts: This grebe eats some of its own feathers and they sit in their stomach and act as a filter and hold fish bones and other things till they are digested. One of the smaller grebes that is an excellent diver and swimmer that can stay under water for very long periods of time.

_rIMG_3989_cr

_rIMG_4003_cr

_rIMG_4126_cr

Preening

Preening

Shaking off!

Shaking off!

Shaking off!

Shaking off!

_rIMG_4025_cr

_rIMG_4105_cr

Back view

Back view

 

Horned Grebe Fox River Waukesha March 29, 2014

Horned Grebe Fox River Waukesha March 29, 2014

Horned Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Horned Grebe – breeding plumage – Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Horned Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Horned Grebe – breeding plumage – Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is more straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is more straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.