Eared Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Order

PODICIPEDIFORMES

Family

Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4

EAGR

Code 6

PODNIG

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Unknown

The Eared Grebe has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. It is native to many of the nations of Europe, Asia, and North America and prefers wetlands and marine ecosystems, though it has been known to reside in ponds, water storage areas and wastewater treatment areas. The global population of this bird is estimated to be 3,900,000 to 4,300,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Eared Grebe is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Eared Grebe: Small grebe with black upperparts, dark chestnut-brown flanks, white underparts. Head and neck are black, orange feathers on face. Eyes are red. Black legs and feet. Winter adult is gray with darker upperparts, mottled underparts, and dark face with distinct white lower margin. Forages by diving and swimming underwater. Feeds on aquatic insects and crustaceans. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.


Range and Habitat

Eared Grebe: Breeds from British Columbia, southern Manitoba and the Dakotas south to California, New Mexico, and northwest Texas. Spends winters on the Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic (rare) coasts, and occasionally on open water in the interior southwest and Texas. Preferred habitats include marshy lakes and ponds; open bays and ocean during the winter.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"poo-eee-chk", "ooEEK", "ooEEKa"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The most abundant grebe in the world, the Eared Grebe occurs in greatest numbers on Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake in fall, where it doubles its weight in preparation for a nonstop flight to its wintering grounds in the southwestern United States and Mexico.
  • On cold, sunny mornings, it sunbathes by facing away from the sun and raising its rump, exposing dark underlying skin to light. This behavior may make the bird appear to have a distinctive "high-stern" profile.
  • For perhaps nine to ten months each year this species is flightless; this is the longest flightless period of any bird in the world capable of flight at all.
  • A group of grebes are collectively known as a "water dance" of grebes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Eared Grebe

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X