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GREBEs

Order Podicipediformes    Family Podicipedidae

The grebe family Podicipedidae is the only member of the Podicipediformes order. They have no close relatives perhaps flamingos are the closest. They have large feet with lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, although they can run for a short distance, they are prone to falling over, since they have their feet placed far back on the body. Grebes have narrow wings, and some species are reluctant to fly. They respond to danger by diving rather than flying. They vary from 23 to 71 cm. Bills vary from short and thick to long and pointed, depending on the diet, which ranges from fish to freshwater insects and crustaceans. Grebes make floating nests of plant material concealed among reeds on the surface of the water.

Grebes have unusual plumage. It is dense and waterproof, and on the underside the feathers are at right-angles to the skin, sticking straight out to begin with and curling at the tip. By pressing their feathers against the body, grebes can adjust their buoyancy. Often, they swim low in the water with just the head and neck exposed. In the non-breeding season, grebes are plain-coloured in dark browns and whites. However, most have ornate and distinctive breeding plumages, often developing chestnut markings on the head area, and perform elaborate display rituals. The young are often striped and retain some of their juvenile plumage even after reaching full size.


Genus Aechmophorus Found in: North America, including Mexico

Grebe, Clark's Aechmophorus clarkii Found: west North America  (southeast Alaska to north Mexico)
The Clark's Grebe has black crown, nape, back; white face, fore-neck; yellow and slightly upturned bill.
Similar to: Western Grebe. Clark's Grebe has more white around the eye than Western Grebe. Clark's Grebe has brighter bill.
Image by:  1) Marlin Harms  2) Lucina M  3) Jerry Kirkhart - California  4) Bill Bouton - California  5, 6) Mike Baird 
   1, 2) Adult(s) with young


Grebe, Western    Aechmophorus occidentalis   Found: west North America  (southeast Alaska to north Mexico)
The Western Grebe has black crown, nape, back; white face, fore-neck; greenish-yellow and straight bill.
Similar to: Clark's Grebe. Clark's Grebe has more white around the eye than Western Grebe. Clark's Grebe has brighter bill.
Image by:  1, 3, 4) Alan D Wilson - California, Oregon  2) Martin Cathrae - California  5) Dick  Daneils - California   6) Len Blumin - California 



Genus Podiceps Found on: All continents (except Antarctica)
Adults have striking breeding plumage, with no difference between the sexes. In winter, the plumage is subdued whites and greys.

Grebe, Eared also Black-necked Grebe  Podiceps nigricollis   Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa
The breeding Eared Grebe has black head, neck; yellow ear tufts. Nonbreeding is gray and white with poorly defined black cap.
Similar to: Horned Grebe. Horned Grebe has white tip on bill; Eared-grebe does not. Breeding Horned Grebe has rufous neck; Eared Grebe has black neck.
Similar to: Red-necked Grebe. Red-necked Grebe has yellow at base of bill: Eared-grebe does not.  Eared Grebe has black neck; Red-necked Grebe has rufous neck.
Image by: 1, 9) Len Blumin - California  2) Phillip Cowan   3) Dick Daniels - Half Moon Bay, California  4) Mike Pazzani   5, 6, Bill Bouton - California   7) Alan D. Wilson  - British Columbia   8) Cristiano Crolle - Maggiore Lake, Italy
9) Leucistic Eared Grebe
1 - 4) Nonbreeding  5, 6, 7) Breeding


Grebe, Great  Podiceps major  Found: South America
The Great Grebe is large for a grebe. It has long bill; buffy-rufous neck, breast;  sooty gray head;  blackish back; whitish belly; reddish-brown eye.  Size and coloration are identifying features.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Cláudio Timm in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil  4) Cristiano Crolle - Buenos Aires, Argentina  5) Gustavo Duran - Argentina


Grebe, Great-crested Podiceps cristatus   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia
The Great-crested Grebe is the largest Old World grebe. In breeding season its crest is an identifiable feature. In winter it is whiter than most grebes with white above the eye and a pink bill.
Image by: 1) nottsexminer  2) Hans Hillewaert - Belgium 3) Marco Serra  4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels - New Zealand  
1, 2) nonbreeding  3, 4, 5, 6) Breeding 


Grebe, Horned also Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus   Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia
The breeding Horned Grebe has a black head; brown ear-like tuffs; red neck, eyes; small black bill tipped with white.
Similar to: Eared Grebe. Horned Grebe has white tip on bill; Eared-grebe does not. Breeding Horned Grebe has rufous neck; Eared Grebe has black neck.
Similar to: Red-necked Grebe. Horned Grebe has dark bill; Red-necked Grebe has yellow at base of bill.
Image by: 1)   Rick Leche   2) Dick Daniels - Biloxi, Mississippi  3, 4) Dick - Great Britain   5) Mke Baird at Morro Bay, California  6, 8) Len Blumin - California   7) Shawn McCready - Alberta, CA


Grebe,_Junin  Podiceps taczanowskii   Found: Lake Junin in the highlands of Junin, west-central Peru.
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) luxuryperu.travel


Grebe, Red-necked  Podiceps grisegena  Found: North America, Europe, Asia
The breeding Red-necked Grebe has a red neck; black cap; light gray face. Nonbreeding bird is gray and white.
Similar to: Eared Grebe. Red-necked Grebe has yellow at base of bill: Eared-grebe does not.  Eared Grebe has black neck; Red-necked Grebe has rufous neck.
Similar to: Horned Grebe. Horned Grebe has dark bill; Red-necked Grebe has yellow at base of bill.
Image by: 1) Winnu  2, 7) Donna Dewhurst USFWS - Anchorage, Alaska  3) Hilary Chambers - England    4) 3) Martin Olsson - Denmark  5) Kenton Letkeman - Saskatchewan  6) Andrew Reding - British Columbia
1, 2) With young  3) Nonbreeding  6, 7) Breeding


Grebe,_Silvery  Podiceps occipitalis   Found: southern part of South America
Image by: 1) Claudio_D_Timm  2) Tor_Egil_Hogsas - Peru



Genus Podilymbus - 1 species

Grebe, Pied-billed Podilymbus podiceps   Found: The Americas
Similar to: Least Grebe. Least Grebe and Pied-billed Grebe are both "cute", but are easy to distinguish.
Image by: 1) Alan D Wilson - Garden City Park, Richmond, British Columbia   2) Dick - North Carolina    4) Dick Daniels - Arizona   3) Dick - Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida   5) Dick - Arizona   6) Cláudio Timm - Brazil  7, 8) Dick - Ocracoke, North Carolina
1) Juvenile  2, 3) Nonbreeding  4, 5, 6) Breeding



Genus Poliocephalus  Found in: Australasia

Grebe, Hoary-headed  Poliocephalus poliocephalus  Found: Australasia
Image by:  1) JJ Harrison - Tasmania, Australia  2) Oystercatcher


Grebe, New Zealand  Poliocephalus rufopectus  Found: New Zealand
Image by: 1) D-rew - Lake Rotorua  2) Kaimai Kid



Genus Rollandia  Found in: South America

Grebe,_Titicaca  Rollandia microptera   Found: Bolivia, Peru
Image by: 1) Nrg800  2) Tsirtalis - Peru  3) Carlo_Castellani - Peru


Grebe,_White-tufted  Rollandia rolland   Found: southern part of South America
The White-tufted Grebe has black head with large white tuft of feathers on face; blackish upperparts; dull reddish-brown underparts often mottled with brown or gray; red eye; black bill.
Image by: 1) Vince_Smith - Argentina  2) Francesco_Veronesi  3) Claudio_D_Timm 
1) Adult with juvenile




Genus Tachybaptus  All continents (except Antarctica)

Grebe, Australasian  Tachybaptus novaehollandiae  Found: Australia
The Australasian Grebe has dark brown upperparts;  darker head, neck; light facial stripe; yellow eye.
Image by: 1) Oystercatcher - Causeway, Canberra, ACT, Australia  2) Keith Lightbody - Perth, Australia   3) David Cook - Wamboin, NSW, Australia


Grebe, Least Tachybaptus dominicus  Found: southwestern USA, Florida, South America
The breeding Least Grebe has brownish-gray upperparts; darker crown; brown chest;  paler belly. Non breeding birds are paler with a whitish throat.
Image by: 1, 5) Richard Crook - Florida  2) Frank Vassen   2) VC-s  4) Vince Smith - Mexico   6) Isidro Verde - Jamaica
1) Juvenile  2, 3, 4) Nonbreeding  5, 6) Breeding



Grebe, Little Tachybaptus ruficollis   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa, Madagascar, Australasia
The breeding Little Grebe has dark upperparts; rich rufous head, flanks; light rump; bright stripe from eye to base of bill.
Nonbreeding has brownish-gray upperparts; light face, neck.
Similar to: Madagascar Grebe. Madagascar Grebe has buff on neck; Little Grebe does not.
Image by: 1) Rhion Pritchard  2) Andy Morffew  3) BS ThurnerHof   4) Roger Sanderson   5) Craig Adam - South Africa  6) Cristiano Crolle - Torrile. Italy 7) Dick Daniels - Tanzania  8) Dick - Kenya
1) Chick and adult  2) Nonbreeding  3 - 7) Breeding


Grebe, Madagascar  Tachybaptus pelzelnii  Found: west and central Madagascar
The Madagascar Grebe has gary upperparts, lower-neck; black crown, nape; buff upper-neck, face; white underparts.
Similar to: Little Grebe. Madagascar Grebe has buff on neck; Little Grebe does not.
Image by: 1) Alextelford  2) Werner Witte  3) Pat and Keith Taylor - Mantadia Park





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