The Pied-billed Grebe’s Curious Case of Foot-Shipping

A few days ago, we explored the mysterious stretches of the Pied-billed Grebe (Pied-billed Grebe Stretching). Today, we delve back into the world of this fascinating bird to examine another curious behavior: foot-shipping!

Ever notice a Pied-billed Grebe chilling in the water with both feet perched on its back? (Take a look at the photo!) This isn’t some strange yoga pose – it’s actually a clever strategy for staying warm.

Pied-billed Grebe Foot-shipping
Pied-billed Grebe Foot-shipping

Pied-billed Grebes spend a lot of time in the water, and that water can be a real heat sink, stealing precious body warmth. Foot-shipping comes to the rescue! The grebe will stick a leg out behind, shake off excess water, and then tuck it under a cozy wing. This not only dries the foot but also traps heat, keeping the grebe toasty.

On sunny days, things get even more interesting. The grebe might forego the wing tuck and simply leave the foot resting on its back. This allows the foot to soak up the sun’s rays, providing an extra dose of warmth.

Foot-shipping is a brilliant example of how birds have adapted to their environment. With this unique maneuver, the Pied-billed Grebe maintains a comfortable body temperature, allowing it to thrive in its watery world.

2 thoughts on “The Pied-billed Grebe’s Curious Case of Foot-Shipping”

  1. Steve,
    Really beautiful picture, but I can’t quite see the “foot – shipping”.
    Anyway you can help?

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