Horned Grebe

Podiceps auritus




Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale green, nest stained

Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:

22 - 25

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Often anchored to vegetation.

Nest Material:

Floating heap of wet plant material.





Horned Grebe: Small grebe with red-brown neck, breast and flanks, and nearly black throat and back. Head has black cap, white face, and conspicuous buff-orange to yellow ear plumes. Bill is dark with white tip and eyes are dark red. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has white cheeks, throat and breast, and dark crown, nape and back.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Horned Grebe: Three to seven pale green eggs are laid on a floating nest made of vegetation anchored to emergent plants. Incubation ranges from 22 and 25 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Horned Grebe: Diet consists mainly of insects, crustaceans, and small fish; also eats leeches, tadpoles, salamanders, mollusks, plant materials, and feathers; forages by diving from the surface.


Horned Grebe: Makes a variety of croaks, shrieks, and chatters on breeding grounds.

Similar Species

Horned Grebe: Eared Grebe has black neck; in winter, has dark cheeks. Western and Clark's grebes are larger with longer, more slender necks and yellow on bills.

The upper front part of a bird.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
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.
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X