Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

Order

PODICIPEDIFORMES

Family

Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4

PBGR

Code 6

PODPOD

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Pied-billed Grebe has an enormous range, reaching up to 21,000,000 square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America and in vagrant populations in the UK and Europe. It prefers a freshwater environment in wetland bogs, swamps, and lakes. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 110,000 to 300,000 individual birds. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Pied-billed Grebe have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Pied-billed Grebe: Medium-sized, stocky grebe with brown upperparts, paler brown underparts with barred sides and flanks, and distinct white undertail coverts. Chin is black and bill is white with central black ring. Eyes are dark. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has white chin and lacks ring on bill. Juvenile resembles winter adult but has brown streaks on face and upper neck.


Range and Habitat

Pied-billed Grebe: Breeds from British Columbia, southern Northwest Territories, and Nova Scotia southward throughout North and Central Americas. Spends winters across the coastal and southern states, throughout Mexico and the West Indies or wherever water remains open. Preferred habitats include marshes and ponds.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"cow-cow-cow-cow, cow, cow, cowp, cowp, cowp"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Although it swims like a duck, it does not have webbed feet. Each toe has lobes extending out on the sides that provide extra surface area for paddling.
  • Folk names of this grebe include dabchick, devil-diver, dive-dapper, hell-diver, and water witch.
  • The Pied-billed Grebe is rarely seen in flight. It prefers to escape predators by diving, and it migrates at night.
  • A group of grebes are collectively known as a "water dance" of grebes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Pied-billed 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.
Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
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