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Marshbirds and Shorebirds of North Dakota


Family Podicipedidae

Grebes, at first glance, resemble ducks but differ anatomically by having slender pointed bills, lobed toes, and legs that are set far back on the body. Their rear-placed legs makes walking difficult, consequently, grebes are rarely seen on land. Grebes have many unusual behavioral characteristics such as carrying their downy young on their backs, eating their own feathers, and exhibiting elaborate courtship displays. Both sexes are similar in plumage but may differ in size with the male often being larger. The following species of grebes nest in North Dakota: western grebe, Clark's grebe, red-necked grebe, horned grebe, eared grebe, and pied-billed grebe. Some areas in which these birds may be viewed include J. Clark Salyer NWR, Des Lacs NWR, Arrowwood NWR, Lake Metigoshe State Park, Devils Lake, and other lakes and large wetlands around the state.

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