- In the fall, almost the entire population of Eared Grebes flies to Mono Lake, California, or Great Salt Lake, Utah, to fatten up on brine shrimp and alkali flies before migrating farther south. Here they more than double their weight, and the sizes of their muscles and organs change. The pectoral (chest) muscles shrink to the point of flightlessness and the digestive organs grow significantly. Before departure for the wintering grounds, the process reverses; the digestive organs shrink back to about one-fourth their peak size, and the heart and pectoral muscles grow quickly to allow for flight.
- A cycle similar to that of the fall staging areas occurs 3–6 times each year for the Eared Grebe. For perhaps 9–10 months each year the species is flightless; this is the longest flightless period of any bird in the world capable of flight at all.