During my trip to Peru, I was fortunate enough to capture some photos of the Great Grebe which I had not seen before and now I’m happy to add their name to my All time Bird List. as Bird # 206.
The following information about this species is from © Wikipedia:
The Great Grebe (Podiceps major) is the largest species of grebe in the world. A disjunct population exists in northwestern Peru, while the main distribution is from extreme southeastern Brazil to Patagonia and central Chile. The population from southern Chile is considered a separate subspecies, P. m. navasi.
This species occurs mainly in open waterways. Most birds are seen on low altitude lakes and sluggish rivers (often surrounded by forests), as well as estuarine marshes. While breeding, it frequents the heavily vegetated inlets off of large lakes. Outside of the breeding season, most birds will move to estuaries and bays, usually heavy with kelp (occasionally, they even are seen on the open sea). Non-breeding birds may live along the coasts all year.
They are buffy-rufous on the neck and chest, blackish on the back and have a whitish belly. The head is sooty gray with a reddish brown eye. Due to its size and unique coloration, the great grebe is unlikely to be confused with any other bird, including other grebes.
The great grebe lives on a diet mostly of fish, sometimes over 11 cm (4.3 inches) long, but usually smaller. Prey competition can occasionally occur with the neotropic cormorant over fish, but that species (in spite of smaller body size) usually takes larger fish. Also insects, crustaceans and mollusks are taken. The diet can switch to almost half crabs during the wintertime along the coasts, and these birds can also take the young of other waterbirds, especially coots.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101