Eared Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis
Range Map

Sometimes called “Black-Necked Grebe”, the Eared Grebe breeds in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the southwestern region of the western United States.

Science recognises three forms of this species:

  • P. n. nigricollis breeds in Europe and Asia. They spend winters from southern Europe east through southwestern Asia, eastern China and Japan.
  • P. n. gurneyi lives in southern Africa.
  • P. n. californicus breeds in North America. There are small pockets of habitat in Colorado, California, and southern Mexico where these birds remain year-round, but some migrate south for the winter as far as southern Mexico and northern Central America.

Even in their winter garb, the ruby-red eyes of Eared Grebes are captivating to observe. But when summer comes, and they don their breeding finery, they are a sight to behold. Most of my meetings have been in California, but I’ve also found them in Nevada, southern Oregon and even as far north as Grand Prairie in Alberta (Canada).

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