Red-necked Grebe – Profile | Facts | Lifespan | Eggs

Red-necked grebe

The red-necked grebe, scientific name Podiceps grisegena is a migratory aquatic chook discovered within the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. In this article, I am going to discuss red-necked grebe lifespan, sound, winter plumage, winter, images, baby, facts, range, juvenile, etc.

Red-necked grebe profile

Wintering habitat of the Red-necked grebe is essentially restricted to calm waters simply past the waves round ocean coasts, though some birds might winter on giant lakes.

Grebes choose shallow bodies of contemporary water equivalent to lakes, marshes, or fish ponds as breeding websites.

The red-necked grebe is a nondescript dusky-grey chook in winter.

Throughout the breeding season, it acquires the distinctive red neck plumage, black cap, and contrasting pale gray face from which its identity was derived.

It additionally has an elaborate courtship show and a wide range of loud mating calls.

As soon as paired, it builds a nest from water crops on prime of floating vegetation in a shallow lake or lavatory.

Like all grebes, the Red-necked is an efficient swimmer, a very swift diver, and responds to hazard by diving slightly than flying.

The toes are positioned far again on the physique, close to the tail, which makes the chook ungainly on land.

It dives for fish or picks bugs off vegetation; it additionally swallows its personal feathers, presumably to guard the digestive system.

The conservation standing of its two subspecies—P. g. grisegena present in Europe and western Asia, and the bigger P. g. holboelii (previously Holbœll grebe), in North America and eastern Siberia—is evaluated as Least Concern, and the worldwide inhabitants are steady or rising.

Red-necked grebe Description

The red-necked grebe is a medium-large grebe, smaller than the nice crested grebe of Eurasia, and the western and Clark’s grebes of North America.

The grownup of the nominate European subspecies is 40–50 cm (16–20 in) lengthy with a 77–85 cm (30–33 in) common wingspan, and weighs 692–925 g (24.4–32.6 oz).

Inbreeding plumage, it has a black cap that extends beneath the attention, very pale gray cheeks and throat, a rusty red neck, darkish gray again and flanks, and white underparts.

The eyes are darkish brown and the lengthy, pointed bill is black with a yellow base.

The winter plumage of the red-necked grebe is duskier than that of different grebes; its darkish gray cap is much less outlined and merges into the gray face, and a pale crescent that curves across the rear of the face contrasts with the remainder of the top.

The entrance of the neck is whitish or mild gray, the hind neck is darker gray, and the yellow of the bill is much less apparent than in summer.

Though the red-necked grebe is unmistakable in breeding plumage, it’s much less distinctive in winter and will be confused with comparable species.

It’s bigger than the Slavonian (horned) grebe, with a comparatively bigger bill and a gray, slightly than the white face.

It’s nearer in measurement to the Eurasian nice crested grebe, however that species is longer-necked, has an extra contrasting head sample, and all the time reveals white above the attention.

The sexes are comparable in look, though the male averages are heavier than the feminine. Chicks have a striped head and breast, and older juveniles have a striped face, diffuse blackish cap, pale red neck, and intensive yellow on the bill.

The subspecies P. g. holboelii is bigger than the nominate race at 43–56 cm (17–22 in) size, with a 61–88 cm (24–35 in) wingspan, and a weight of 750–1,600 g (26–56 oz).

The plumages are identical to these of the nominate race, though the grownup’s bill is extra extensively yellow.

The distinction in measurement between the sexes is bigger than for this subspecies than for P. g. grisegena.

The red-necked grebe flies with its lengthy neck prolonged and its giant toes trailing behind the physique, which supplies it a stretched-out look.

The comparatively small wings are gray with white secondaries and beat very quickly.

Its small wing space implies that the grebe is unable to take off from the land, and desires a prolonged run throughout the water to achieve the velocity wanted for take-off.

Like all grebes, the red-necked is a professional swimmer; it makes use of its toes for propulsion underwater and steers by rotating its legs since its tail is simply too brief for this objective.

This is without doubt one of the most vocal grebes through the breeding season, however, like its family members, it’s primarily silent for the remainder of the yr.

It has a loud, wailing, or howling show name uooooh, given by a single chook or a pair in duet, by night time or through the day, and sometimes from cover.

Long sequences of as much as 60 consecutive notes could also be delivered throughout singing encounters between rival territorial birds.

A fantastic number of quacking, clucking, hissing, rattling, and purring calls are additionally given, with a lot of particular person variation.

Red-necked grebe Color 

Nonbreeding birds are principally darkish grey above, paler beneath, with pale cheeks and sides of the neck.

Breeding adults have a rusty red breast and foredeck, with a sensible black cap and sharply outlined white cheek. Immatures are just like nonbreeding adults however the head sample is much less distinct.

Distribution and habitat

A breeding grownup of the nominate subspecies

Breeding takes place in shallow freshwater lakes, bays of bigger lakes, marshes, and different inland bodies of water, typically lower than Three ha (7.4acres) in extent and fewer than 2 m (6.6 ft) deep.

The red-necked grebe reveals a choice for waters in forested areas or, additional north, in shrub tundra, and favors websites with considerable emergent vegetation, equivalent to reedbeds.

The very best breeding habitat is fish-ponds, which have an abundance of meals along with assembly the opposite necessities.

The American subspecies are much less tied to an excessive aquatic plant density and typically breeds on fairly open lakes.

All populations are migratory and winter primarily at sea, often in estuaries and bays, however typically effectively offshore the place fish are inside diving attain close to shallow banks or islands.

The popular passage and wintering habitat is water lower than 15 m (49 ft) deep with a sand or gravel backside, scattered rocks, and patches of seaweed.

Throughout winter, birds usually feed alone and barely mixture into flocks, however, on migration, concentrations of over 2000 people might happen at favored staging sites.

Migration is often at night time, however might happen through the day, particularly when over water.

That is notably noticeable in autumn on the Great Lakes when as much as 18,000 birds might cross Whitefish Level on Lake Superior; these are regarded as Canadian breeders heading for the Atlantic Ocean to winter. This easterly route is longer than that to the Pacific, however, avoids the Rockies.

The breeding varies of the red-necked grebe overlaps with that of the Slavonian grebe, though the latter species tends to be displaced from websites suited to each.

The red-necked grebe prefers inland temperate local weather, and is much less profitable close to coasts and in subarctic and heat temperate zones.

It’s often a lowland chook, breeding beneath 100 m (330 ft), though has nested at as much as 1,800 m (5,900 ft) in Turkey.

The nominate subspecies breeds from southern Sweden and Denmark by central and eastern Europe east to western Siberia, and winters primarily within the North and Baltic Seas, with smaller numbers within the Adriatic, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean, and on inland lakes.

P. g. holboelii breeds in North America in Alaska, western and central Canada, and the northern US east to Minnesota; in Asia, it nests in eastern Siberia from Kamchatka south to Hokkaido and west to Mongolia.

The Asian birds winter at sea from Japan to the East China Sea, and American breeders winter within the Pacific, primarily from southern Alaska to British Columbia (with smaller numbers south to California), and within the Atlantic from Newfoundland and Labrador to Florida. Some birds stay on the Great Lakes if they’re sufficiently ice-free.

This species happens as an uncommon winter vagrant in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and components of northern and western India.

Behavior: Breeding and survival

Red-necked grebes often nest as remoted pairs with greater than 50 m (160 ft) between neighboring nests, though semi-colonial nesting might happen inappropriate websites, the place as many as 20 pairs every defends a linear territory.

Semi-colonial breeding is extra prone to happen in prime places, equivalent to giant floating mats of vegetation with no connection to the shoreline.

Such websites, protected from most predators and huge sufficient to supply some wind and wave safety, have grebes nesting a lot nearer than shoreline breeders, right down to 10 m (33 ft).

Pairs nesting in these colonies produce bigger clutches of eggs, which hatch earlier within the season and lead to bigger broods.

The territory is defended with numerous menace shows, together with wing-spreading, hunching, and bill-thrusting; pairs breeding in colonies are extra aggressive, much less prone to depart the nest unguarded, and present a larger tendency to maneuver out of sight of the colony when not incubating.

Breeding is commonly in unfastened affiliation with gulls or different colonial water birds.

The monogamous pair varieties in April or Could on migration or on the breeding water, and an extremely vocal courtship ritual commences.

The flowery breeding efficiency contains head-shaking, a head-lowered “cat” show, parallel rushes in an upright place, and mutual shows of inexperienced weeds, and culminates in a “penguin” dance through which pair members increase the entire physique upright, breast to breast.

Like all grebes, the red-necked grebe nests close to water into which it could escape, for the reason that place of the legs far again on the physique prevents quick motion on land.

It typically breeds additional inside reed beds than different grebes.

The nest is a floating platform of plant matter anchored to submerged or emergent vegetation, in water 0.5–0.75 m (20–30 in) deep, and with the majority of nest beneath the waterline.

Egg-laying primarily takes place from mid-April to Could in Europe, and considerably later, from mid-Could to June, in North America. Mother and father might depart the nest for important intervals of time through the nighttime, presumably to evade nocturnal predators.

It’s unclear whether or not that is for self-protection or to guard the eggs by diverting consideration from the nest; the clutch doesn’t seem to endure this temporary abandonment, regardless of the motive.

Red-necked grebe

The red-necked grebe lays 4 or 5 (vary one to 9) boring white or pale blue eggs, which common 3.Four cm (1.Three in) in breadth, 5.1 cm (2.0 in) in size, and weigh about 30.5 g (1.08 oz), of which 10% is a shell.

Mother and father take turns incubating the eggs for 21–33 days till the precocial downy chicks hatch; they instantly climb onto the guardians again, the place they spend most of their time till they’re 10–17 days outdated.

The younger could also be fed by the mother and father for as much as 54 days after fledging and may fly at 50–70 days.

The mother and father don’t intervene with the feeding of their chicks when they’re nonetheless being carried.

Later they take care of the youthful chicks for longer and are aggressive with the older offspring.

This equalizes the post-fledging survival of all chicks and encourages their independence.

The brood could also be break up so that every guardian feeds solely a few of the chicks. This spreads the feeding demand equally between the mother and father.

After breeding the adults molt their wing feathers and are quickly flightless; migration commences as soon as the flight feathers have regrown.

The red-necked grebe is often single-brooded, though second broods and re-nesting after a clutch has been misplaced might prolong nesting into July or August.

Eggs could also be destroyed and chicks killed by a variety of predators, together with the raccoon in North America and the carrion crow in Europe. Pike might take swimming chicks.

On common, for every grownup, 0.65 younger birds are nonetheless alive by their fourth month, though the mortality charge for the grownup is unknown.

Red-necked grebes try to evade birds of prey by diving; when feeding, dives common lower than 30 seconds, though escape dives are extra extended.

Red-necked grebe Feeding

Chicks are fed by the mother and father for a number of weeks.

On the breeding grounds, the red-necked grebe feeds primarily on invertebrates together with grownup and larval aquatic bugs, equivalent to water beetles and dragonfly larvae, crayfish, and mollusks.

Fish (equivalent to smelt) could also be necessary regionally or seasonally, particularly for the American subspecies, and crustaceans can represent as much as 20% of the grebe’s weight loss program.

Birds breeding on the coast typically make foraging flights to inland lakes or offshore areas to feed.

Aquatic prey is obtained by diving or by swimming on the floor with the top submerged, and terrestrial bugs and their larvae are picked off vegetation.

A line slanting downward from the attention to the tip of the opened decrease mandible could also be used for sighting on prey earlier than diving or when swimming beneath the water.

The grebe most likely opens its bill and appears down the eye-line towards its goal.

European breeders, which must compete with the bigger great crested grebe for fish, eat a larger proportion of invertebrates than the longer-billed American subspecies, though each race eats primarily fish in winter.

Birds of the nominate subspecies from the northernmost breeding populations in Finland and Russia, past the vary of great crested grebe, have an extended and extra slender bill than these additional south, reflecting a larger proportion of fish within the weight loss program the place their important competitor is absent.

If meals are scarce, mother and father might desert unhatched eggs, or enable the smallest chicks to starve, though the latter technique seems to not be notably environment friendly in defending the older chicks.

Like different grebes, the red-necked grebe ingests giant portions of its personal feathers, which stay within the chook’s abdomen.

Feathers should not solely be swallowed by adults, primarily throughout self-preening, however are sometimes fed to the younger, typically inside a day of hatching.

These feathers quickly decompose right into a felt-like, amorphous mass.

The operation of the feathers within the abdomen is unknown, though it has been recommended that they assist to guard the decrease digestive tract from bones and different onerous, indigestible materials.


The red-necked grebe has a wide range, estimated at 1–10 million sq. kilometers (0.4–3.8 million sq. miles), and global inhabitants of 150,000–370,000 people, with P. g. holboellii about twice as quite a few because of the nominate race.

The inhabitant’s development has not been quantified, however, it’s not believed to fulfill the thresholds for the inhabitant’s decline criterion (declining greater than 30% in ten years or three generations) of the IUCN Red Listing.

For these causes, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

The red-necked grebe is, without doubt, one of the species to which the Settlement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Events to the Settlement are required to have interaction in a variety of conservation methods that are described in an in-depth motion plan.

The plan is meant to handle key points equivalent to species and habitat conservation, administration of human actions, analysis, training, and implementation.

Red-necked grebe Facts

Red-necked Grebes winter principally in northern climes, however wandering birds have reached Bermuda and the Hawaiian Islands.

In 1989, birders organized an examination of autumn migration at Whitefish Level, Michigan, on Lake Superior.

They have been shocked to find that a big migration of Red-necked Grebes handed by there through the daytime.

Most scientists had assumed that this species migrated at night time like many different grebe species.

Whitefish Level Chicken Observatory has documented over 21,000 Red-necked Grebes in a single season at their lake watch.

Like different grebes, the Red-necked Grebe ingests giant portions of its personal feathers. The abdomen retains two distinct lots (balls) of feathers, and its operation is unknown.

One speculation means that the feathers assist shield the decrease digestive tract from bones and different onerous, indigestible materials.

The Red-necked Grebe additionally feeds its feathers to its younger.

The Red-necked Grebe migrates over land strictly at night time. It typically migrates over water or alongside coasts by day, in giant flocks.

The oldest recorded Red-necked Grebe was a minimum of 11 years outdated when it was present in Minnesota, the identical state the place it had been banded.

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