Birds – Peruvian Flightless Grebe

Lake Titicaca, in southern Peru, is the exclusive home of a curious flightless Grebe (Centropelma micropterum). The general color above is dark brown mixed with chestnut on the sides of the lower back and rump, the crown and occiput as well as the sides of the neck being rich chestnut, while the chin, throat, and fore neck are white and the under parts dull rufous tinged with satiny white; the length is about sixteen inches. According to Professor Garman, these birds are very common about all parts of the lake where the water is at all shallow, feeding on fishes and batrachians. “They are unable to rise from the water, but by flapping their rudimentary wings and striking the water with their feet, they manage to progress quite rapidly for a short distance. They dive quickly at the discharge of a gun — so quickly that unless taken unawares will dodge the shot — and escape, often swimming a long distance under water before reappearing.”