onsdag den 5. juni 2013

Hooded Grebe - the best grebe in the world?

Hooded Grebe is a rare bird of the high plateau's in the Santa Cruz Province of southern Argentina. It was only discovered in the 1974 and since the population has decreased a lot. In the 1980's the population was estimated to be around 3000-5000 pairs. In 2009 more than 50 prime lakes were surveyed and only 117 individuals were found. In the 1980's the same lakes held more than 1800 birds. This caused the species to be elevated to Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
In November 2012 we had almost a full day to find this rare grebe but the birds seem to move a lot around between years and some of the lakes require quite long walks so the pressure was on as this was the most wanted species for half our group! No need to worry though, as we scored big time in only the third lake visited. Almost 100 birds were found in one single big lake. We thoroughly enjoyed this magical moment in complete silence with dancing grebes in our telescopes.   
Hooded Grebe, Strobel Plateau, November 2012. In the background the red water mifoil Myriophyllum elatinoides
which the grebes use to build their nests.
Hooded Grebe, Strobel Plateau, November 2012. It was nice laying on the bank with grebes often swimming quite close by.
Hooded Grebe, Strobel Plateau, November 2012. The best grebe around!
Hooded Grebe, Strobel Plateau, November 2012. I actually ended up enjoying the grebe more than I thought I would.
Its like an improved version of the Slavonian Grebe. 

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