Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), Island Center Forest, Tim DiChiara Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), Sylvan beach, Tim DiChiara Acorn barnacles (Balanus glandula), Maury Island, Tim DiChiara Honey bee (Apis mellifera), Maury Island, Tim DiChiara Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Point Robinson, Elizabeth VanDeventer Shield-backed kelp crab (Pugettia productus), Raab's Lagoon, Tim DiChiara Wooly bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella), Maury Island, Tim DiChiara Sundew (Drosera Rotundifolia), Whispering Firs Bog, Tim DiChiara Long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum), Neill Point Preserve, Tim DiChiara

Featured photo Horned Grebe
Species details
Common name: Horned Grebe
Scientific name: Podiceps auritus
Other names: Slavonian Grebe, Devil-diver, Dipper, Hell-diver, Pink-eyed Diver, Water Witch, Colymbus auritus
Family: Podicipedidae
Origin: Native
Status on Vashon: Common
Description:

The Horned Grebe is a member of the grebe family of water birds. In summer, the plumage of both male and female includes a black head with brown puffy earlike tufts along the sides of its face. Their winter non-breeding plumage is duller. The Horned Grebe has a deep red neck, scarlet eyes, and a small, straight black bill tipped with white. It rides high in the water.

Horned Grebes breed in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes across Europe and Asia. It also breeds in remote inland parts of the United States and much of Canada. Most birds migrate in winter to the coast. During this time, this small grebe is mainly white with a sharply defined black cap. During breeding, the male's call is heard as an odd, striking series of loud croaks and chattering notes followed by prolonged shrieks.

Like all grebes, it builds a nest on the water's edge, since its legs are set very far back and it cannot walk well. Usually two eggs are laid, and the striped young are sometimes carried on the adult's back.

Folk names of this bird include Devil-diver, Hell-diver, Pink-eyed diver, and Water witch. Its name is often abbreviated by British birders to "Slav Grebe" or simply "Slav".

In the lore of the Blackfeet, the trickster Old Man tricked several ducks into closing their eyes and dancing while he killed them one by one. However, the smallest duck looked, saw Old Man, and alerted the other ducks. This "duck" was the Horned Grebe, who became the first to notice trouble.

--Wikipedia

More details: Encyclopedia of Life Wikipedia
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