Image # 6994
Western Grebe Swimming at Tule Lake NWR
adult swimming Western Grebes hunt underwater, propelled by their individually webbed toes to catch fish, crustaceans and salmanders. They have elaborate courtship displays and breed in colonies, nesting in shallow water marshes. Western Greebes are such strong swimmers that they almost don't need to fly and actually lose the muscle mass in their breasts and thus the ability to fly for the long periods of time between migrations. Remarkably caring parents grebes often give their downy young rides on their back under the wings. The parents will often dive with their young so ensconsed.