The Western Grebe is a water bird, and unlike many others such as ducks, geese etc. It cannot survive on land. They stay in the water and to take off and land, they must have at least 100FT+ of water or it could get ugly. If they become stranded on land, it means death for them, unless someone can find them in time and get them to a rehabilitator.
The reason they cannot survive on land is because of their feet, which aren't like a normal water birds in more ways then one. The legs are set much further back and are positioned so they cannot walk "upright." Their toes(talons) have a leaf look to them and this enables them to not only swim, land and take off with ease, but it allows them to 'walk on water' during the mating dance.
The females are larger than the males, just like with pretty much all other birds. They are more aggressive as well. These birds eat mainly fish, but will also consume bottom-dwelling crustaceans as well as worms. When out, some people commonly mistake them for frogs because of one of the sounds they make.
Clutch Size3–4 eggs
Number of Broods1 broods
Egg Length2.1–2.6 in
Egg Width1.4–1.7 in
Plain pale bluish, often stained brownish by sodden nest material.
Condition at Hatching
Alert and covered with blackish or silvery down; leaves nest and rides on back of parent after hatching.