The Pied-billed Grebe is another bird that was very interesting to observe and photograph during my Utah trip. They were located at the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, swimming around with American Coots. They are the sole member of their genus and are distributed throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean and temperate South America.
Pied-billed Grebes are found on open waters, including ponds, marshes and sluggish streams. They are very rare on salt water. Pied-billed Grebes are not strong fliers and usually escape from danger by diving. They have a very short thick bill which has a black ring around it In the summer. Pied-billed Grebes also are the only grebe that doesn’t have white wing patches. Their diet consists mainly mainly of aquatic invertebrates, and also on small fish and amphibians (frogs, tadpoles). During the time that I was observing the Pied-billed Grebes, they were either swimming, diving for food or resting. I did see one Grebe capture a large fish (for it), which it eventually swallowed. An American Coot kept It's eye on the Grebe, hoping that it could obtain the fish from the Grebe.
Even though I was sitting on the bank low on the ground and close to the water, did not seem to bother the grebes as they went about their business. Another interesting observation is that when they dive, they will travel a great distance. On the water before they surface.
As I have said in other posts, sitting still and observing will make the birds less afraid and you can learn how they go about their normal activities.