Red-Necked Grebe

Red-Necked Grebe

Scientific name: Podiceps grisegena

Did you know: The Red-Necked Grebe is known for its agile swimming and diving abilities, and less than 20 individuals choose to spend their summer in the UK, making them a special sighting!

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

Red-Necked Grebes are adept swimmers and divers, notable for their winter plumage, which is like the Great Crested Grebe. However, they have thicker necks and stout dark bills tinted with yellow.

Their body is brown, with a black-coloured crown, whitish cheeks, and, in summer, a stunning red neck and breast.

Differences Between Male And Female Red-Necked Grebes

Both male and female Red-Necked Grebes share similar plumage; however, during the breeding season, males may exhibit more vibrant red on their necks and a darker black crown.

What Do Red-Necked Grebes Eat?

Their diet mainly consists of fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects. They are known for their diving prowess, plunging underwater to catch their prey.

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

Red-Necked Grebes breed in lowland marshes and lakes across southern Europe, extending to Central Asia and Mongolia. They are somewhat migratory, moving to the UK’s coastal areas and large lakes for wintering.

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

Red-necked grebes, known for their distinct vocalisations, are particularly vocal during mating season. Their unique ‘weet, weet, weet’ call, high in pitch, serves as an alarm when their nests or offspring are in danger. 

Fun Red-Necked Grebe Facts (kid friendly)

  • Red-Necked Grebes are expert divers, often plunging underwater for fish.
  • They have a unique habit of swallowing their feathers, possibly to protect their digestive systems.
  • These birds can fly but prefer diving to escape danger.
  • They build nests from water plants on floating vegetation.
  • Their feet are positioned near the tail, making them clumsy on land but excellent swimmers.
  • In winter, they adopt a dusky-grey plumage, making them harder to identify.
  • They are gregarious outside the breeding season, forming small flocks.
  • The global population of Red-Necked Grebes is considered stable.
  • Red-Necked Grebes participate in an elaborate courtship display, including loud mating calls.

Facts About The Red-Necked Grebe

Diet: Fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects.
Bird Family: Grebes
Length: 40-46 cm
Wingspan: 77-85 cm
Weight: 700-900 g
Scientific Name: Podiceps grisegena

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

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December