There are a lot of waterfowl. Unusual and extraordinary, can be called the great crested grebe. This bird also has another name – a large toadstool.
Why do they call it that, looks like a bird, what are the characteristics of lifestyle will discuss in this article.
Bird great crested grebe belongs to water birds of the family Bovankovich, which is considered quite rare. In size it is slightly less than adult ducks. The body length of 46-61 cm, with a wingspan of up to 85-90 see her thin neck and elongated beak straight shape red. Its weight can vary from 700 grams to 1.5 kg. the Males are always slightly larger than females and they also weight a little more.
The birds whole body is adapted to swimming. Their feet work like screws and this feature is the only great crested grebes. The fingers are equipped with special skin folds. They can turn around at 90on, get along and across the movement. The bird is easily submerged under water like a submarine. She descends to a depth of 6-7 meters and can swim 50-60 meters in just half a minute. This is due to its unique feet.
In winter, the head of the bird is dark gray with two light spots on the nape. On the back, dark feathers with pale edging on the ends. Chest and belly have white crested grebes. With the onset of the breeding season around the neck appears a dirty orange collar. On the head grow like ears dark feathers.
Its name great crested grebe, it was due to the tasteless meat. It is characterized by a sharp and unpleasant smell.
This species of birds is widely distributed, but most of all crested grebes nesting in the territory:
- New Zealand;
She leads a sedentary lifestyle only in the southern regions. In winter it flies to warmer places. Mostly they move to southern Europe and Asia. Large grebes migrate to southern areas with a warm climate, if their places of residence ponds in winter covered with ice.
For nesting they choose ponds with stagnant water or very slow flowing. The dense vegetation along streams is a prerequisite for nesting ducks-grebes.
Within the land the great crested grebe was feeling extremely uncomfortable. She bad by her moves as it has short legs. Another thing is the water in which the bird moves is excellent, because perfectly knows how to swim and dive. Plunging under the water, she only wielded paws, overcoming great distances under water. Duck and grebe and is holding the body of her wings, which improves hydrodynamics. In case of danger from the great crested grebe dives into the depths.
Great crested grebe, very rare flies in daily life. Only for the winter these birds travel great distances in flight. Almost the entire life of this duck in the water. It can be seen under water or in water, rarely in flight, and almost never on the beach. They can get to shore, only to keep warm or clean up. On land the grebe clumsy and hard to move, so I want to return to a familiar and comfortable environment.
Birds of prey are the main enemies of the ducks-grebes.
- marsh Harrier.
These birds nests of grebes feeding on eggs. When the Chicks appear, they should beware of predatory fish of large size.
There was a time when the great crested grebes are often hunted for feathers. This is due to the fashion for fur feather decoration great crested grebe. Such destruction has led to a reduction in the number of species. Now the problem is solved and the bird is not in danger of extinction.
What to eat?
Because of the large toadstool almost all the time spend in the water, it is their most comfortable environment. This affected the nutrition of birds. The diet is dominated by small and medium size fish.
Also eat crested grebe and the other inhabitants of the waters:
- water insects;
- aquatic vegetation.
Ducks-grebes foraging, plunging under the water. There they can be up to 17 seconds. However, there were cases when large grebes, diving into the deep, entangled in fishing nets. They were found at a depth of 30 meters. In winter they are forced to dive deeper to find food. It happens that along with food crested grebes swallow their own feathers. After eating, they regurgitate along with the bones from the fish.
Large toadstools strange and surprising mating ritual. During this period they appears on the back of the head, two bunches of dark feathers, like horns. In the lower part of the head, formed of long feathers in the form of whiskers.
Birds show a variety of poses with the unfolding of the wings. They crane their necks, stand in a column one over the other, holding a pinch of seaweed in its beak. Ducks-grebes in the mating season emit a very loud sounds that can be heard from afar.
After selecting partners, the birds proceed to the arrangement of quite an unusual slot. It is built on a small handful of dry vegetation or island pop-up peat. To build the selected leaves and stems of reeds floating on the water surface. The nest looks like a floating on the water heaps of rotting vegetation. Inside the building there is a special deepening for egg laying.
The female lays 5-6 eggs white. In form they are elongated with pointed edges. Due to rotting vegetation, which lay eggs, they gradually turn brown. This nest is not only is on the water, but drifting. Usually by the time the nest is now half flooded. If the female must leave the nest, then she covers the eggs with vegetation.
Rotten vegetation contributes to flooding of housing birds, but that nest is very warm. It helps quickly and safely to hatch offspring. The Chicks hatch after 24 days, but not at the same time. The Chicks hatch with a gap of 1-2 days.
Have born offspring have fuzz and they know how to swim. Chicks just hiding under the feathers of the mother. The offspring would often sit on her back . With Chicks the mother of swimmer and often dives under the water.