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Pied-billed Grebe - Podilymbus podiceps

pied-billed grebe


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Podicipediformes
 Family: Podicipedidae
 Genus:   Podilymbus  

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern
NH Fish and Game - NH Status: Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened



Pied-billed GrebeThe pied-billed grebe is 9-15 inches in length with a wingspan of 16-24 inches. It has a small, stocky body; a long neck; and a rounded head. It is brown over most of its body and has a white rump. It has a short, stubby whitish bill. Its bill has a dark ring around it during breeding season. Males and females look the same.


mapThe pied-billed grebe's range covers most of central and eastern Canada and all of the United States. In the northern parts of its range, the pied-billed grebe will migrate to areas with open water. It lives year-round in the southern part of its range, as long as the water doesn't freeze over! The pied-billed grebe is threatened in New Hampshire.


Pied-billed GrebeThe pied-billed grebe is found in freshwater marshes and ponds. It may move to saltwater habitats when freshwater habitats freeze.


The pied-billed grebe eats mostly aquatic invertebrates, although it sometimes eats fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

Life Cycle

Pied-billed GrebeThe male pied-billed grebe or a male and female pair establish a territory during breeding season. Both the male and female gather vegetation from the pond or marsh bottom and build a floating nest in shallow water. The female pied-billed grebe lays 2-10 eggs. Both the male and female incubate the eggs. Incubation takes about 23-27 days.

Pied-billed GrebeThe chicks are precocial and leave the nest within an hour of hatching. Although they can swim and dive as soon as they leave the nest, the parents protect the chicks and sometimes carry them on their backs. The chicks leave their parents when they are one to two months old. In the southern parts of their range, females may have two broods a year.


The pied-billed grebe is an excellent swimmer and diver. It often dives to evade predators. In fact, another name for the pied-billed grebe is the Hell-diver.
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Bernabe Lopez-Lanus cc logo