Order Podicipediformes

The members of both the order Podicipediformes (and the single family Podicipedidae) are aquatic diving birds that have a wide distribution of being found on freshwater, though some species can be spotted along the coasts during migration season and the winter.

Pied-billed grebe seen on Boomer Lake

These are small to medium size birds that have lobed (instead of webbed) toes that aid in diving and swimming.

While most species don’t migrate, there are some that do migrate long distances (whether intentionally or not), and that included the pied-bill grebe from North America (it has been spotted in Europe on several occasions, even though it is native and usually endemic to only North America).

Depending on the location (and therefore the diet) of the grebe, their bills can be either short and thick (for both fishing and crushing crustaceans) to long and pointed (for spearing mainly small fishes and leeches).

In term of the plumage–they are basically drab in coloring during majority of the year, with brighter colors and markings showing up during the breeding seasons.

Goals for this order: getting a picture of at least one species on each continent, and bonus if I can get a picture of the young riding on the backs of one of the parents.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/grebe