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Red-necked Grebe

Silhouette GrebesGrebes
Red-necked GrebePodiceps grisegena
  • ORDER: Podicipediformes
  • FAMILY: Podicipedidae

Basic Description

Red-necked Grebes are boldly plumaged waterbirds with pale cheeks and a daggerlike yellow bill that contrasts with a sharp black crown often likened to a toreador’s cap (sometimes raised into a short crest). In breeding plumage, the neck is a rich brick red. The species breeds on northerly lakes and winters mainly along ocean coastlines, usually singly but sometimes in small groups. During spring migration, flocks may form on large lakes, and pairs begin their boisterous courtship displays well before reaching breeding lakes farther north.

More ID Info
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Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

In winter, Red-necked Grebes frequent northerly ocean coasts, and they sometimes feed well away from shore, so using a spotting scope (or joining a bird walk where the leader has one) can be useful for seeing them well. In midwinter, if the Great Lakes freeze over completely, large numbers often suddenly appear in unusual locations to the southeast of the lakes, along with Horned Grebes (which are smaller) and diving ducks. During migration (early spring) and the breeding season, watch for them on larger lakes in Canada and the northern states.

Other Names

  • Somormujo Cuellirrojo (Spanish)
  • Grèbe jougris (French)
  • Cool Facts