Podilymbus podiceps
(Pied-billed Grebe)


Order: Podicipediformes
Order Description: Grebes
Family: Podicipedidae
Family Description: Grebes

Physical Description:
Size: 12-15" (30-38 cm). A small, drab-brown grebe with a thick, short, chicken-like bill. Note the black bill ring and throat patch in the breeding season. Grebes have a similar appearance to ducks and have thick necks, lobed toes and a tailless look. In the winter, bill and throat patch are white. Sexes similar

Song:
A yelping yeow-yeow-yeow-yeow- keowm-keowm-keowm

Distribution:
Breeds from southeastern Alaska, east through southern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south locally through North and Middle America to South America. Winters in southern British Columbia, south through western and southern U.S. to South America.

Habitat:
During migrationClick word for definition and when not breeding, found on brackishClick word for definition bays and estuaries. When breeding, found on lakes, ponds, sluggish streams, and marshes. In Idaho, prefers large lakes and reservoirs, but known to occur on smaller waters.

Diet:
Primarily feeds on fishes, crustacians, and insects, but will also consume amphibians, other invertebrates, and some plant material.

Ecology:
Builds platform nest in emergent vegetation in water about 1 m deep. Forages mainly by short dives in shallow water. Generally, densityClick word for definition is 1 nesting pair on ponds of up to 4 ha, but many more are possible. One study found defended area with 46-m radius around nest, but nests may be closer than this. Residents form pairs or family groups, and are more gregariousClick word for definition in winter.

Reproduction:
Female lays 1 clutchClick word for definition (possibly 2 in some areas) of 2-10 (usually 4-7) eggs, and commonly renests if first clutchClick word for definition is lost. Incubation (mostly by female) lasts 20-27 days. Young fly by about 5 wk.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABNCA02010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Photo by C.S. Robbins,© 2002
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.