Skip to main content

Horned Grebe

Podiceps auritus in breeding plumage with offspring
Meet the Horned Grebe, a migratory bird that can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They breed far, far inland during the summer months, and during the winter they hang out further south along the ocean coasts.

When it comes time to breed, Horned Grebes are unmistakable. They have fantastic summer plumage with bright reddish feathers, a dark head, and huge light puffy tufts over their eyes. Those puffs give them their "horned" name. During the winter months they are far less colorful, sporting black and white feathers with no tufts.

Winter Plumage
Feathers play an important role in Horned Grebe digestion. Adults actually eat some of their own feathers in order to create an internal plug. This plug serves as a filter to keep bones and other slower digesting materials in the stomach longer. Parents even feed feathers to their babies to get this plug started!

And while we are on the topic of baby Grebes, did you know that they often ride along on their parents' backs while swimming? And because the adults usually feed on critters that they find underwater, this means the little ones get to go on dives too!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Europe, Asia, North America
Size : Length up to 15in (38cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Podicipediformes
Family : Podicipedidae -- Genus : Podiceps -- Species : P. auritus


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!