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Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

  • Order: Podicipediformes
  • Family: Podicipedidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
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We do not have a complete account for this species.

The summary below is an overview from The Birds of North America Online.

BNA Account Authors: Muller, Martin J., and Robert W. Storer

The Pied-billed Grebe has the widest distribution in the Americas of any grebe, breeding from northern Canada through the West Indies and Central America to southern South America. It is a common denizen of freshwater marshes, lakes, and sluggish rivers, and, in winter, brackish estuaries. Its brown plumage and short, high, arched bill distinguish it from other common North American grebes, especially in the breeding season, when the bill is bluish white with a vertical black bar. Usually nesting in emergent vegetation, this secretive grebe has a far-reaching caow caow caow call that can often be heard before the caller is seen.

The Pied-billed Grebe is opportunistic, feeding on whatever prey is most readily available. Although its bill is well adapted for taking and killing large crustaceans, the species also takes frogs and a large variety of fishes, insects, and other invertebrates. It takes most food by diving either in open water or among aquatic vegetation, but it picks some food off vegetation or the surface of the water, or even catches it in midair.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/pibgre