Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe
(Podilymbus podiceps)

Order:  Podicipediformes
Family:  Podicipedidae

Pied-billed Grebe - Breeding Adult
Photo © Mike Danzenbaker

Pied-billed Grebe Information

Length:  12 - 15"

Breeding: Ponds, marshes, sloughs, marshy edges of lakes and rivers. Requires habitat with some emergent vegetation.

Winter: Coastal bays and inlets, estuaries, large lakes and rivers.

Diet:  Fish, aquatic insects, crayfish and other crustaceans, frogs, small amounts of vegetable matter.

 Calls of the Pied-billed Grebe

Additional Information

Pied-billed Grebe
Description, distribution, behavior, diet, reproduction, predators, lifespan, and conservation status. Includes photos and range map. (From Wikipedia)

Pied-billed Grebe
Description, habitat, behavior, diet, and nesting. Includes photos and range map. (From BirdWeb)

Pied-billed Grebe
Identification Tips

  • Sexes similar
  • Small, stocky-bodied grebe with a short, thick bill
  • Brown plumage, darker on the crown and back
  • White undertail coverts
  • Feet set far back on body and trail awkwardly behind body in flight
Adult alternate
  • Black ring around horn-colored bill
  • Whitish throat
Adult basic
  • Horn-colored bill without black ring
  • Brown throat
  • Black and white striping about head

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Pied-billed Grebe Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

Although found in low numbers, the Pied-billed Grebe breeds throughout New England in the appropriate habitat.

In this region, it can be found wintering in some parts of southern Connecticut, far eastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Winter Sightings Map from eBird

Sightings of the Pied-billed Grebe Dec-Feb over the past 10 years (2009-2019)

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS