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Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) Beluga Lake, Homer, Alaska, USA. Photo by Hal Brindley

Red-necked Grebe

(Podiceps grisegena)

Red-necked Grebes have a strange way of showing their affection. Pairs maintain their bonds through courtship rituals and displays. One of the stranger rituals includes rushing toward each other on the water at high speed in an upright position. But my personal favorite is when the present each other with pieces of green sea weed. (see photo below.)

Red-necked Grebes love life on the water so much, they actually build a floating nest. They create a huge pile of floating vegetation (most of which is below water line) and put a small depression in the top for the eggs.

Like some other grebes, the Red-necked Grebe has the strange habit of swallowing its own feathers, creating a lining of feathers in the stomach. No one is exactly sure of the purpose. The Red-necked Grebe even feeds feathers to its young! (source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Photos: Beluga Lake, Homer, Alaska, USA

courtship display by red-necked grebe in Alaska
A Red-necked Grebe carrying a green weed to its mate in courtship ritual. Beluga Lake, Homer, Alaska.