Name: the Slavonian or horned grebe (Podiceps auritus) is a small member of the grebe family.
Appearance: they get the name ‘horned grebe’ from the large patches of golden yellow feathers behind their eyes which they can raise and lower at will. During the breeding season, they are easily recognisable by their striking red black feathers, ruby eyes, and golden horns. At other times of the year, however, they are mostly black and white with no recognisable horns.
Size: Slavonian grebes measure up to 38 cm long with a wingspan of 74 cm and a weight of 570 grams.
Diet: they dive underwater to hunt for fish and crustaceans.
Did you know: Slavonian grebes feed on fish which they catch underwater. Once they have caught something they swallow it before returning to the surface and manipulating the fish so that it goes down headfirst. They also have a unique adaptation for swallowing fish whole. Eating their own feathers from a young age so that their stomachs contain a feathery plug that helps to hold fish bones until they can be digested!
Location: they can be found in shallow freshwater ponds, marshes and lake edges near vegetation. Their range covers much of Eurasia and North America.
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see Slavonian grebes in the following places:
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Photo credit: LTapsaH under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay