Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena




Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light blue or pale buff, nest stained.

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

20 - 23

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Floating and anchored to vegetation.

Nest Material:

Plant material, fresh and decaying reeds.





Red-necked Grebe: Large grebe with dark gray upperparts and cap; white underparts with gray flanks. Lower face and nape are white; neck is red-brown. Eyes are dark brown. They are the only grebe with a black cap; ash-gray face and chestnut neck while breeding. Sexes are similar. Male is larger than female. Winter adult has gray neck and less white on face. Juvenile resembles winter adult but has brown wash on neck; side of head is striped black and white.

Range and Habitat

Red-necked Grebe: Breeds from Alaska and northern Canada south to Oregon, Idaho, Ontario, and southern Minnesota; rarely east to southern Quebec. Spends winters south along coasts to southern California and Georgia, and rarely to Florida. Summer habitats include ponds and lakes; found on large lakes, coastal bays, and estuaries during winter and migration.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-necked Grebe: Two to six light blue or pale buff eggs are laid on a floating nest made of dead reeds and grass; rarely nests in colonies. Incubation ranges from 20 to 23 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-necked Grebe: They feed on small fish, crayfish, aquatic insects, tadpoles, salamanders and aquatic plants. They are visual predators. They pursue prey underwater, and pluck items off the bottom and off vegetation. They capture prey by grasping, with a quick snap of their mandibles. Usually they swallow prey underwater, but they bring larger items that are difficult to handle to the surface.


Red-necked Grebe: Usually silent, but emits a variety of squeaks, growls, and wailing calls on breeding grounds.

Similar Species

Red-necked Grebe: Horned Grebe is smaller, with a darker, shorter bill, and more white on the face in winter.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X