Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Black-Necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

Description

The Black-Necked Grebe has a length of 30cm and can weigh between 250-350g. As their name describes, they have a black neck, though with their winter plumage, the necks are pale grey instead. They have a mostly red eye. The Blacked-Necked Grebe have an orange-yellow strip coming from their ear to their nape, with pale orange-red coloured sides.Winter plumage have a greyish body all around, with whiter parts on their sides, inner underwings and belly.Black-Necked Grebe build its floating nest in shallow water of open lakes, which is anchored to the lake by plants. Black-Necked Grebe are one of the most inefficient at flying amongst birds, that avoid flying at all costs to reserve for long-distance flight exclusively for migration.

Habitat

The Black-Necked Grebe live in shallow ponds and lakes during the summer, and move to more open water in the winter, which includes estuaries shallow coasts and saltmarshes. 

Diet

The Black-Necked Grebe feed on fish, crustaceans and insects.

Protection Status 

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

When feeding on brine shrimp at hypersaline lakes, it is hypothesised to use its large tongue to block the oral cavity, then crush the prey against its palate to remove excess water. Availability of brine shrimp can affect the response of this species, where more shrimp have more grebes, and they spend more time foraging when the number of shrimp and water temperature decreases.

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