Podicipediformes are an order of aquatic birds (living on and near water) which are smaller than Loons. The Latin name of this order could be loosely translated as "feet on their rump". Birds of this order have the same primitive characteristics as Gaviiformes>- their legs are so far back on their bodies they can hardly walk on land. In fact, they don't even nest on land. They lay their eggs on floating mats of vegetation. Good thing the chicks can swim as soon as they hatch!

The members of this order are the family Podicipedidae, for which the common name is the Grebe family. Birds of this order feed on fish. They are excellent swimmers and divers, and spend their life on and under the water.

When walking on land, they waddle very awkwardly. When they try to take off from the water, they have to run along the surface for several meters flapping their wings before they get airborne. Even then, their flight is very weak and they have to flap furiously to stay up. [LH] {BI}

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