Horned Grebe

Podiceps auritus

Order

PODICIPEDIFORMES

Family

Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4

HOGR

Code 6

PODAUR

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Horned Grebe has a large range, estimated globally at 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, this bird prefers inland wetland and neritic or coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 160,000 to 1,200,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Horned Grebe is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Horned Grebe: Small grebe, red-brown neck, breast and flanks, nearly black throat and back. Head has black cap, white face, conspicuous buff-orange to yellow ear plumes. Bill is dark with white tip, eyes are dark red. Feeds on aquatic insects, fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.


Range and Habitat

Horned Grebe: Breeds from Alaska and northern Canada to Washington and the Dakotas. Winters in the Aleutians and along the Pacific coast to California, and along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to Texas. Breeds on prairie and freshwater lakes with both open waters and marsh vegetation; also nests in marshes, small sloughs, ponds, and occasionally on rivers.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"keark-keark", "yark-yark"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Horned Grebe regularly eats some of its own feathers, and its stomach usually contains a matted plug of them. This plug may function as a filter or may hold fish bones in the stomach until they can be digested.
  • Folk names of this bird include Devil-diver, hell-diver, pink-eyed diver, and water witch.
  • In Blackfeet lore, the trickster Old Man tricked several ducks into closing their eyes and dancing while he killed them one by one. The smallest duck looked and alerted the others. This "duck" was the Horned Grebe, who became the first to notice trouble.
  • A group of grebes are collectively known as a "water dance" of grebes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Horned 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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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X