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617 WESTERN GREBES

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The largest grebe species in North America, western grebes are very social and nest in colonies of hundreds on shallow lakes or swamps and marshes. They are powerful swimmers and will quickly dive at any threat of danger. During winter, western grebes are found mostly on saltwater bays, and during breeding season, on freshwater wetlands where vegetation provides cover, nesting material and food. Western Grebes engage in elaborate "rushing" courtship displays. As though in a race, two birds repeatedly rear up and patter across the water's surface. Then they dive, emerge, and swim calmly side by side. At the turn of the 20th Century, tens of thousands of Grebes were killed for their feathers. With protection, their populations have recovered. Grebes and other water birds are very sensitive to changes in water quality on their breeding wetlands, which can result from grassland conversion and agricultural runoff.
Copyright
MICHAEL FORSBERG / www.michaelforsberg.com
Image Size
2400x1594 / 11.0MB
Contained in galleries
Feature prints, Creatures of Flight, Art Cards - boxes of 10, Great Plains
The largest grebe species in North America, western grebes are very social and nest in colonies of hundreds on shallow lakes or swamps and marshes.  They are powerful swimmers and will quickly dive at any threat of danger.  During winter, western grebes are found mostly on saltwater bays, and during breeding season, on freshwater wetlands where vegetation provides cover, nesting material and food.  Western Grebes engage in elaborate "rushing" courtship displays.  As though in a race, two birds repeatedly rear up and patter across the water's surface.  Then they dive, emerge, and swim calmly side by side. At the turn of the 20th Century, tens of thousands of Grebes were killed for their feathers. With protection, their populations have recovered.  Grebes and other water birds are very sensitive to changes in water quality on their breeding wetlands, which can result from grassland conversion and agricultural runoff.