Black-Necked Grebe

Black-Necked Grebe

Scientific name: Podiceps nigricollis

Did you know: The Black-Necked Grebe, also known as the Eared Grebe, is almost flightless for about nine months a year, which is a lot more time than any other flying bird!

What Do Black-Necked Grebes Look Like? (how to identify them)

Black-Necked Grebes are small, captivating birds with golden tufts on their faces, contrasting with black heads and necks. Their steep foreheads give their heads a ‘peaked’ look. 

These birds are a rare treat for birdwatchers, especially in winter.

Differences Between Male And Female Black-Necked Grebes

Males and females of this species are similar in appearance. 

During the breeding season, both showcase ochre-coloured plumage extending behind their eyes over their ear coverts, set against a predominantly black to blackish brown body.

What Do Black-Necked Grebes Eat?

These birds have a varied diet consisting of crustaceans, insects, and small fish. 

They are adept at catching insects either on the water surface or mid-flight, and dive skillfully for underwater prey.

Where Do Black-Necked Grebes Live? (inc. migration info)

Black-Necked Grebes are found in freshwater lakes across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. 

During winter, they migrate to saline lakes or coastal estuaries. In the UK, they are mostly seen around southern coasts in winter.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Black-Necked Grebes)

Black-Necked Grebes are relatively silent outside the breeding season. Their calls during breeding include a high-pitched “ooeek” and a low, fast trill used for territory marking and courtship.

Fun Black-Necked Grebe Facts (kid friendly)

  • In summer, they flaunt golden feathers beside their black heads.
  • Skilled at diving for food, they make short, swift dives.
  • They travel thousands of kilometres during migration.
  • They can double in weight after moulting for migration.
  • They build floating nests on lakes, sometimes in large colonies.
  • They make unique calls during their breeding season.
  • Parents carry chicks on their backs for safety and warmth.
  • A special bird to spot, particularly in winter in the UK.
  • Their diet changes based on where they are and what’s available.
  • For much of the year, they are almost unable to fly!

Black-Necked Grebe Video

Facts About The Black-Necked Grebe

Diet: Insects, crustaceans and small fish.
Bird Family: Grebes
Length: 28-34cm
Wingspan: 56-60cm
Weight: 250-350g
Scientific Name: Podiceps nigricollis

The Black-Necked Grebe Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Black-Necked Grebe Images

Male Black-Necked Grebe Male
image coming soon Submit Image
Female
image coming soon Submit Image
Hatchling
image coming soon Submit Image
Nestling
image coming soon Submit Image
Chick
image coming soon Submit Image
Fledgling
image coming soon Submit Image
Juvenile