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Rollandia microptera

Titicaca Grebe

  • Order: Podicipediformes
  • Family: Podicipedidae


Rollandia microptera

Juliaca, Peru; 28 February 2008 © Tor Egil Høgsås

Sometimes this grebe is known as the Short-winged Grebe, but Titicaca Grebe is a much more appropriate name as that lake forms the main part of its distribution. It is also found farther south in lakes Popoo and Uru-uru. Therefore it is restricted to the Altiplano of Bolivia and Peru. The most curious aspect of this grebe is that it is flightless, a trait it shares with the Peruvian Junin Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii) and interestingly that grebe is in a different genus so the loss of flight occurred independently twice in South American grebes. The Titicaca Grebe was at one time quite common and estimates ranged as high as 10,000 individuals, but this grebe has been on a decline for at least the last two decades and this is partially blamed on the use of fishing nets which are catching the grebes and drowning them, current estimates are that 2000 remain. It is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. It is a relatively large grebe with a yellowish bill white throat and foreneck, dark crown, and rufous sides to the neck and flanks.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Titicaca Grebe (Rollandia microptera), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Freshwater lakes and ponds
  • Foraging Strata:Water (below surface)
  • Foraging Behavior:Surface dive
  • Diet:
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Endangered