Monday, May 6, 2013

Red-necked Grebe

Weather: Palmer 49% RH, 30.19 mmHg N8G13 Temp: 34-48F Precipitation 0
Sunrise 5:21 AM Sunset 9:49 PM Day Length 16:28 Elevation 46 degrees

A Monday with plenty of work to do. Stopped by Palmer Hay Flats at Fireweed Lane, one of my favorite birding spots. The area was mostly empty except for the few Swans, Magpies, and passing Canada Geese in their giant V-formations.

I was rewarded with a Red-necked Grebe, alone on the water but for a couple Buffleheads. These are uncommon in our area, but this looks like their preferred summer habitat. They like to next on marshy ponds in the tall grasses. In the winter, they live mainly on deep open ocean, often near rocky coasts and on eastern Great Lakes. They dive for fish and crustaceans. It's distinguished from the Horned Grebe by white cheeks instead of yellow, its red neck and larger size.
Red-necked Grebe

Two adult breeding male Buffleheads and one non-breeding male on the right, a juvenile.

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