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pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA. Photo by Hal Bridley

Pied-billed Grebe

(Podilymbus podiceps)

Though Pied-billed Grebes spend nearly their entire life floating on the water, newborn chicks are not very good swimmers. They spend their first week of life riding on their parent’s back!

Once they begin swimming, the chicks will still retreat to the safety of their parents’ back when frightened. But after about ten days they will hide under water, just like the adults.

Grebes do not have webbed feet like ducks. They actually have flattened lobes on each toe to extend the surface area for paddling!

Photo: Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA

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