Red-Necked Grebe

Red-Necked Grebe


Profile Red-Necked Grebe     Literature page Red-Necked

[order] Podicipediformes | [family] Podicipedidae | [latin] Podiceps grisegena | [UK] Red-Necked Grebe | [FR] Grèbe jougris | [DE] Rothalstaucher | [ES] Somormujo de Cuello Rojo | [IT] Svasso collorosso | [NL] Roodhalsfuut

Roodhalsfuut determination

copyright: youtube

A medium-sized grebe with a long, heavy bill and thick neck, the Red-necked Grebe is the only grebe with a distinct red neck and a white chin in breeding plumage. Breeding plumage is characterized by a dark body, red neck, white cheeks, and black crown. Juveniles and adults in non-breeding plumage are an overall grayish-brown.

Red-necked Grebes are found in distinctly different habitats at different times of year. During summer they nest on large freshwater lakes, sloughs, and reservoirs. They prefer areas with stable water levels and require emergent vegetation to anchor their floating nests. During winter they are found predominantly on salt water, most commonly in protected bays, marshes, and coasts. However in winter they can also be found miles offshore.

Podiceps grisegena is a widespread breeder across much of central, eastern and northern Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is relatively small (
This bird has a wide distribution in the boreal regions of Eurasia and North America. Within the European Union it is known as a breeding species only from Scotland, where its population amounts 60 breeding pairs. The total northern European population is estimated at 6000-9000 breeding pairs and winters mainly along the coasts of the North Sea and on the central European lakes. A few birds reach the Mediterranean coasts. Despite important local fluctuations, the total population of this species seems quite stable.

In the winter small fish make up most of the diet. In summer insects become more important as a food source.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 150,000-370,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from]

Red-necked Grebes build their nests in shallow water with marsh vegetation. Both male and female help build a floating nest made of plant material and anchored to emergent vegetation. Typically, the female lays two to four eggs. Some nests have many more eggs, but it has been suggested that these large clutches are the product of more than one female. The young are fed by both parents and often ride on their backs. Shortly after hatching, they can swim by themselves.

Migratory and dispersive. After breeding, most migrate or disperse to tidal water. In west Palearctic principal wintering areas western seaboard (Norway and Britain to Bay of Biscay), Baltic and Caspian Sea; lesser numbers also Black Sea and north Mediterranean. 19th century reports of large numbers Morocco and Tunisia, but no modern confirmation and seems now scarce to rare winter visitor to south side Mediterranean. Some winter inland waters, especially larger ones such as Swiss Lakes. Present British coastal waters chiefly October-March. Main spring departures from western seaboard March, from Caspian Sea April; breeding waters reoccupied late March to early May, averaging earlier in west.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 58 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 62 cm
  4. size min.: 40 cm
  5. size max.: 46 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 20 days
  8. incubation max.: 23 days
  9. fledging min.: 65 days
  10. fledging max.: 72 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 3
  13. eggs max.: 6
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Roodhalsfuut status Least Concern


  1. Podiceps grisegena holbollii
  2. ne Asia, n North America
  3. Podiceps grisegena grisegena
  4. n, c Eurasia
  5. Podiceps grisegena
  6. NA, EU widespread
Join the discussion