|The Family Podicipedidae is composed of small to medium-sized birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. They have their legs set rather far to the back of the body to aid diving. As a consequence grebes are generally clumsy walkers. Their plumage is dense and waterproof, and on the underside the feathers are at right-angles to the skin, sticking straight out to begin with and curling at the tip. By pressing their feathers against the body, grebes can adjust their buoyancy. The young are often striped. Some species breed at freshwater lakes and ponds,
|| and spend their non-breeding season along seacoasts. Bills vary from short and thick to long and pointed, depending on the diet, which ranges from fish to freshwater insects and crustaceans. Grebes have narrow wings, and some species are reluctant to fly. Two Peruvian species are largely flightless. Grebes respond to danger by diving rather than flying. Grebes make floating nests of plant material concealed among reeds on the surface of the water. There are 4 genera and 7 species of grebes known to occur in Peru. Photo (left): White-tufted Grebe. Photo (right): Great Grebe.