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Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena


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Red-necked Grebe, breeding
credit: Donna Dewhurst

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Podicipedidae, Grebes view all from this family

Description ADULT In summer has dark gray-brown upperparts, including nape. Neck and upperparts are brick red, cheeks are pale gray bordered with white, and cap is dark with hint of crest. Underparts are otherwise whitish, with gray streaking on flanks. Bill is stocky and yellow with a dark culmen. In winter, neck color is lost, but often retains hint of reddish collar. Cheek pattern is less well defined and ear coverts are grubby-looking. JUVENILE Recalls winter adult, but shows more extensive red on neck; note striking dark stripes on cheeks.

Dimensions Length: 18-20" (46-51 cm)

Habitat Fairly common, breeding on shallow, northern freshwater lakes; more widespread in west than east. Winters mainly on sheltered coasts.

Range Northwest, California, Alaska, Plains, Western Canada, New England, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Texas, Eastern Canada, Florida

Voice Utters subdued wails during breeding season.

Discussion Swims buoyantly and dives frequently for fish. Has striking white panels on wings, obvious in flight. Sexes are similar.