Little grebe juvenile amongst duck-weed, Derbyshire

Grebes

Grebes are small to medium-sized water birds, characterised by their pointed bills (long and dagger-like in larger species), round bodies, tiny tails and legs set far back on the body.

The legs are flattened and the toes have broad, leaf-like lobes, so that the forward stroke underwater has minimum drag but the backward stroke can exert maximum pressure for forward movement. They are expert swimmers and divers but unable to walk on dry land. They build floating nests anchored to aquatic vegetation. Many other species are found almost worldwide.

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