Grebes and Loons - jft-photo

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The grebes that are the smallest birds in the waterfowl group. Grebes are different from other waterfowl such as swans, geese, ducks and loons, because they have lobed toes. These birds are divers who use their wings to propel themselves under water in order to get their food. Similar to loons, they are more able to swim in water than they are to walk on land. This is because their legs are farther back on their bodies than most waterfowl and it is very difficult for them to walk.

There are seven types found in North America. The Horned Grebe and Pied-billed Grebe have the widest ranges. These birds are more likely to be seen from the central parts of the continent into the more western regions. The Least Grebe is the smallest in the family and lives in the most southerly regions of the United States and into Mexico. The Clark's Grebe, Western Grebe, Eared Grebe and the Red-necked Grebe are found in the western regions.

There are five types of loons in North America and the Common Loon is the most numerous and widespread among their species. The Pacific Loon and the Arctic Loon are very similar looking birds with the Arctic Loon being the larger of the two. The Yellow-billed Loon is the largest member of the loon family and inhabits the central Arctic to the tip of Alaska. The Red-throated Loon can be found in the northern areas of North America and is the smallest of the group.


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