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Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-06-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Full of tenderness -2- / Pleine de tendresse -2-, Juveniles [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2013-06-05 6:57
Viewed: 2686
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today I made a bicycle tour to De Groene Jonker in Zevenhoven, about 25 km from the place where I live. That’s a small nature reserve.
There I made this photo.

The Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) known in North America as the Eared Grebe, is a member of the grebe family of water birds. It occurs on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

There are three subspecies:
• P. n. nigricollis is found from western Europe to western Asia (wintering to the south and west), in central and eastern Asia, and in eastern Africa
• P. n. gurneyi is found in southern Africa
• P. n. californicus is found from southwestern Canada through the western U.S. It winters as far south as Guatemala.
The two common names for this species both refer to features visible when the bird is in its breeding plumage; in such plumage, it has an all-black neck and a spray of golden plumes on each side of its head. The name "Eared Grebe" was in usage nearly a century before the name "Black-necked Grebe". The latter was first used in 1912 by Ernst Hartert, in an effort to bring the common name of the species in line with its scientific name. The genus name of this species—Podiceps—comes from two Latin words: podicis, meaning "vent" or "anus" and pes meaning "foot". This is a reference to the attachment point of the bird's legs—at the extreme back end of its body. The specific epithet nigricollis is Latin for "black-necked": niger means "black" and collis means "neck".

Description and range
The Black-necked Grebe is 28–34 centimetres long. The adult is unmistakable in summer with a black head and neck and yellow ear tufts. In winter, this small grebe is white with a poorly defined black cap, which distinguishes it from the crisper-looking Slavonian Grebe (Horned Grebe in America).

In courtship the male gives a mellow poo-ee-chk call to the female.
This species breeds in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes across Europe, Asia, Africa, northern South America and the southwest and western United States. The North American subspecies, P. n. californicus is known as the Eared Grebe (or "eared diver"). These birds migrate in winter, mostly to the Pacific Coast where they range south to El Salvador on a regular basis; vagrants may occur as far as Costa Rica.
Black-necked Grebes of the nominate subspecies P. n. nigricollis in the cooler temperate regions of the Old World also winter further south, with many European birds moving to the Mediterranean area. The isolated southern African race, P. n. gurneyi is sedentary. It was named by South African ornithologist and author Austin Roberts in honour of the English bankers and amateur ornithologists John Henry Gurney and John Henry Gurney Jr..

The Black-necked Grebe is an excellent swimmer and diver, and pursues its prey underwater, eating mostly fish as well as small crustaceans, aquatic insects and larvae. It prefers to escape danger by diving rather than flying, although it can easily rise from the water.
Like all grebes, the Black-necked Grebe nests 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.

Interestingly, the eared grebe is essentially flightless for most of the year (9 to 10 months), and serves as an example of one of the most inefficient flier among avifauna. Generally, this bird avoids flying at all costs and reserves long distance flight exclusively for migration. However, when migrating, it will travel as much as 6,000 kilometres to reach prosperous areas which are exploited by few other species.

Source: Wikipedia

Alex99, CeltickRanger, Silvio2006, buscape, marius-secan, Miss_Piggy, Pitoncle, lazyman, Ishi, anel, Hormon_Manyer, pierrefonds, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

so cute and with wonderful colours. Must be nice to swim like that.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2013-06-05 7:39]

Hi Peter.
Every photographer would be happy to watch such touching scene. You are managed not only meet but also take amazing photo. Brilliant details, superb colours, blameless composition. Bravo. Great job.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-06-05 8:41]

What a lucky meeting my friend! You caught very well this rare and tender opportunity whit a special quality,very bright colors,fine details and spectacular reflections too,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter

This scenery with full of tenderness it is beautiful,
with a fine POV at their level and obtaining
the baby's glance on you, beautiful light,
beautiful rich and contrasty color tones,
excellent focus, sharpness, details, TFS


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2013-06-05 10:53]

Hello Peter.
Wonderful post.I liked DOF,moment you caught,framing,reflections on water and composition a lot.Regards Siggi

Ciao Peter, great capture of cute family, fashinating reflections, superb sharpness, fine details, splendid light and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter. This was worth your bicycle trip. Strong colours and details and a perfect setting of mother and child. Gotta love that. A nicely framed work of art. TFS Trevor

Hi Peter.
鴨子很漂亮 色彩美不勝收
照的很棒 顏色 光線 對焦都很不錯
背景的湖更美 是經典作品

Amazing scene Peter! Great photo with excellent composition, fantastic colours and good sharpness.

Ciao Peter. What interesting tender scene! Fantastic colours good contrast and excellent details.


Hello Mr.Peter.
Excellent one.Great picture.Very cute and strong bond between mother and little one.
Thanks for sharing,
Kind regards,

Hello Peter,
great capture of this Grebe with its young. You have taken them with good sharpness and lovely details. I also like the beautiful colours and the nice reflections.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter.
Very adorable.
superb picture of this mother and child.
Good light and colour.
perfect baby's eye contact with you.
thank you for this great picture.
best wishes,

hallo Peter
Prachtige opname heb je hier
zo goed scherp en een leuk moment zo op de rug
Prachtige kleuren en veel details
Mooi rustig water heb je hier ,terwijl het toch aardig waait afgelopen dagen
gr lou

Hello Peter,
Thanks for visiting my gallery. I was very busy in the last weeks and I have no time for TN.....Lovely image with this Black-necked Grebe. The shinning colors of the feathers and of the water are superb. Nice photo.
Thanks for sharing!

Hallo Peter
Outstanding shot with immaculate sharpness, details and colours. Superb light and exposure handling with perfect depth of field and point of view. Very pleasing composition too. The image has a high cuteness factor. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Bonjour Peter,
Attendrissante scène de la vie sauvage magnifiquement restituée dans une belle lumière et sous une excellente profondeur de champ.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hello Peter,

You're capturing well this bird by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the lovely waterfowl with black head/wing, red eyes and gold feather. You catch a cute spectacle in which it has put the baby on the back. And, the reflection projected to the water draws out an additional good effect in this image.

Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-06-07 20:52]

Hello Peter,
What a great shot of this beautiful Grebe with it's baby resting safely on it's back. Love the excellent detail and beautiful colors in their plumages. There is just something really unique about their glowing red eyes that gives them an almost spooky look. Well done!!

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2013-06-10 1:55]

Hi Peter,

You caught a truly precious moment. The little guy seems to enjoy the ride. Very well excited photograph! interesting note!



  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-06-10 7:49]

Hello Peter,
How lovely and tender your shot, everyone who looks at it must be touched in the heart. Amazing red eye of mum, and funny pose of the baby Grebe. Well done again!

Hi Peter
lovely bird and great eye contact with the baby
the adult's eyes are amazing

Hi Peter,
Very nice and very interesting documentary shot about how this species used to protect their babies. You captured the adult beautifully, however, the white plumage of the baby became overexposed a bit. In this case it's a minor thing, otherwise a very good photo of a decisive moment. Congratulations.
Best regards, László

  • Great 
  • IronM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 3 N: 345] (2608)
  • [2013-06-24 13:14]

Hi Peter,
wonderful photo indeed ,
beautiful lighting, lovely composition,
outstanding details !
Thanks ! Best regards !

Hi Peter,

The eye contact is excellent. The point of view is showing with precision the details and colours of the Black-necked Grebe and of the duckling. The reflections on the water are assets to the composition. The good luminosity is bringing out the beauty of the colours. Have a nice day.


Dear Peter
I added this ravisant image to "juveniles" as well as to "Animals's Behaviour.

It is so heart warming to see this little head poking out of the hen'sfeathers.
Great sharp details and luminous colours.

Thanks for sharing
Warm greetings

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