Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps




Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light blue, nest stained.

Number of Eggs:

2 - 10

Incubation Days:

23 - 27

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Anchored to vegetation in open water.

Nest Material:

Platform of decaying vegetation.


Some migrate



Pied-billed Grebe: Medium-sized stocky grebe with brown upperparts, paler brown underparts with barred sides and flanks and distinct white undertail coverts; upperwing coverts drab brown, remiges similar or a paler dull brown, white tips on secondaries form a bar on the trailing edge. 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; bill is dull.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Pied-billed Grebe: Two to ten light blue eggs are laid in a well-hidden floating nest made of dead marsh vegetation anchored to emergent plants. Incubation ranges from 23 to 27 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Pied-billed Grebe: They are opportunistic as to the kind and size of prey, and take what is most readily available, including fish, crustaceans, especially crayfish, beetles, nymphs of dragonflies and aquatic insects and their larvae. They forage by diving from the surface and swimming underwater. They collect most food underwater during foraging dives.


Pied-billed Grebe: Emits a series of hollow cuckoo-like notes "cow-cow-cow-cow, cow, cow, cowp, cowp, cowp", that slows down at the end.

Similar Species

Pied-billed Grebe: Least Grebe is darker. Other grebes have thinner bills which lack the black band.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The area of the face just below the bill.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Refers to the flight feathers-primaries, secondaries, and tertials.
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X