They swim like frogs
Grebe Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Podilymbus podiceps, Tachybaptus ruficollis, and others
Grebe Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Red, Black, White
3 to 15 years
Top speed
30 mph
0.5 ounces to 3 pounds
Grebe Distribition

They are carefully pertaining to flamingos

Grebes are freshwater diving birds belonging to freshwater and aquatic environments. They live in every continent with the exception of Antarctica and any kind of dry atmosphere. They are exceptional swimmers and scuba divers, and while they appear like various other diving birds, they are a lot more carefully pertaining to flamingos. Find out everything about the remarkable grebe, like exactly how they have actually integrated dancings and drifting nests!

5 Fantastic Grebe Realities

  • They lay their eggs in drifting vegetative nests.
  • Regarding a 3rd of grebe species are intimidated or near- intimidated.
  • Some grebes are flightless and remain in their environment year- round.
  • Their plumes are water resistant, and they swim in a similar way to frogs.
  • Grebes eat their plumes and feed them to their young.

Where to Locate Grebes

These extensively- dispersed birds largely live in freshwater lakes, other than when they move to their winter months environments and periodically reside in seaside locations. Their environments mostly rely on the species. Western grebes remain on savanna lakes in British Columbia and move to the Pacific Coastline throughout winter months. And fantastic crested grebes in Europe and Asia type in freshwater lakes and winter months in shallows and tidewaters. If you’re a birder wanting to discover grebes, attempt looking deep inland lakes throughout summertime and sea coasts in the winter months. Finding extents been available in useful for these birds.

Grebes live in every continent other than Antarctica and do not reside in dry atmospheres. They also conquered islands like Madagascar and New Zealand. Grebe species like the Junin and Atitlan (just recently extinct) are lake native, indicating they do not move.

Grebe Nest

Their nests are plant product systems that drift on water, usually concealed by plants. Grebes dive to the base of the lake, grabbing dead plant issue and afterwards loading it up on top of the water till it creates a mass. The worn out plant issue they make use of releases some warm that assists the incubation procedure.

Scientific Name

Grebes are a solitary family ( Podicipedidae) of the order Podicipediformes There are 5 category and 22 species generally. The category teams consist of Aechmophorus, Podiceps, Podilymbus, Rollandia, and Tachybaptus.

The 22 grebe species consist of:

  • Pied- billed grebe
  • Little grebe
  • Tricolored grebe
  • Australasian grebe
  • Madagascar grebe
  • Least grebe
  • Hoary- headed grebe
  • New Zealand grebe
  • Western grebe
  • Clark’s grebe
  • Terrific grebe
  • White- tufted grebe
  • Titicaca grebe
  • Red- necked grebe
  • Terrific- crested grebe
  • Horned grebe
  • Black- necked grebe
  • Silvery grebe
  • Junin grebe
  • Hooded grebe
  • North American eared grebe

Dimension, Appearance, and Habits

Grebes are little to tool- sized marine birds developed for the water. They vary in dimension from the least grebe at 4 ounces and 9 inches to the fantastic grebe at 3.8 extra pounds and 28 inches. They have slim wings, huge feet, and lobed toes, which extremely function like the blades of a propellor. Their thick quill is water resistant and includes unsure plumes that protrude at ideal angles. They can change their buoyancy by pushing these plumes versus their body. Non- reproducing grebes appear dark brownish and white. In the reproducing period, they establish chestnut markings on their head. Their young usually have candy striped quill and might maintain some when they expand to complete dimension.

As a result of their exceptional swimming and diving abilities, several hesitate to fly. Rather, they dive under the water when predators obtain close. They choose to swim reduced in the water, with simply their head subjected. These birds appear like frogs when they swim, spreading their feet, bringing them internal, and propelling onward. They can likewise compete brief ranges however might tip over because of the positioning of their back feet.

Once they establish their luxuriant reproduction markings, they carry out screen routines to gain their companions. Actually, these birds are understood for their remarkable courtship screens, which might consist of preening, head trembling, diving, and walking water in an upright placement. Grebes are virginal for at the very least one reproducing period. When their young have actually hatched out, they feed them their plumes after brushing which filterings system product travelling through the intestinal tract. Scientists think this actions might minimize bloodsuckers and help in pellet development.

Great crested grebe on floating nest feeding babies that are on its back
Child grebes hang around on their moms and dads’ back. They get to freedom when they’re in between 10 and 16 weeks old.WildMedia/Shutterstock. com

Movement Pattern and Timing

While not all grebes move, several transfer to warmer locations after reproducing. Species like the Western grebe very first fly to lakes in the autumn, where they molt their wing plumes. When their trip plumes expand, they move to salted water locations like shorelines, bays, and tidewaters. By springtime, they are back to their reproducing premises.


Grebes are predators and eat nearly totally animal issue.

What Do Grebes Eat?

Grebes have actually differed diet regimens. Some, like the Western grebe, prey on fish, while others eat shellfishes or little invertebrates. These birds are understood for ingesting their plumes, creating a plug in the pocket of their belly, which works in filtering system product. These pockets, developed soon after hatching out, hold fish bones till they are absorbed.

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

One- 3rd of the grebe population is intimidated or near- intimidated. These water birds experience ecological and human- triggered problems because of their environment places. Their risks consist of real estate and metropolitan advancement, agro- sector farming, angling and harvesting, dam structure, air pollution, intrusive species, environment modification, and basic human disruption. A minimum of 3 grebe species are currently extinct.

What Consumes Grebes?

While grebes do not have several all-natural predators, they are vulnerable when nesting. Their predators consist of raccoons, crows, coots, gulls, owls, eagles, falcons, and cottonmouths. Grebes commonly dive undersea when intimidated by predators, and their young can ride on their back after they have actually hatched out.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Breeding takes place on their drifting system nests, and females lay 3 to 7 eggs. Grownups cover the eggs with soaked plant product and allow them breed for 3 to 4 weeks. After hatching out, the young desert their nest and invest their time on their moms and dad’s backs. Many young are independent once they get to 10 to 16 weeks old.


The grebe population is plentiful, getting to 6 continents. The Western grebe along has 90,000 fully grown people. Nevertheless, a lot of their species are decreasing, and a number of species have actually intimidated or endangered standings.

Up Following:


  1. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  2. Archive, Available here:
  3. Senckenberg, Available here:
  4. Britannica, Available here:

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