Titicaca Grebe Rollandia microptera


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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© Peter Hosner

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

Recommended Citation

Titicaca Grebe (Rollandia microptera), 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/titgre1