Podiceps auritus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Horned Grebe
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Podiceps auritus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 174482)
French Common Names: grèbe esclavon
Spanish Common Names: Zambullidor Cornudo
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101899
Element Code: ABNCA03010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 10756

© Dick Cannings

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Podicipediformes Podicipedidae Podiceps
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Podiceps auritus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 20Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Common in many portions of the large range, but trends are declining for at least some of the regions.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (02Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S4N), Alaska (S4S5B,S4N), Arizona (S2N), Arkansas (S3N), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (S4N), Georgia (S5), Idaho (S2N), Illinois (SXB,S2N), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (S3N), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S4N), Maine (S4S5N), Maryland (S4N), Massachusetts (S5N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (S1B), Mississippi (S5N), Missouri (SNRN), Montana (S3B), Navajo Nation (S2N), Nevada (S2M), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S4N), New Mexico (S4N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S4N), North Dakota (SNRB), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S2N), Oregon (S2B,S5N), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN,SNRM), South Dakota (S2B), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S3N), Utah (S3N), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S3B,S5N), West Virginia (S3N), Wisconsin (S4N), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (S3B), British Columbia (S4B), Labrador (SU), Manitoba (S3B), New Brunswick (S4N,S4M), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Northwest Territories (S3S4B), Nova Scotia (S4N), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (S1B,S4N), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (S1), Saskatchewan (S5B), Yukon Territory (S4B)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS:E,SC
Comments on COSEWIC: The Magdalen Islands Population is designated Endangered and the Western Population is designated Special Concern by COSEWIC (COSEWIC 2009).
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDS: central and southern Alaska and Canada south to Idaho, northern South Dakota, northern Iowa, and central Wisconsin, with the highest breeding densities in southwestern Manitoba; Iceland, Faroes, Eurasia. WINTERS: in North America, mainly along the coast south to California, Texas, Florida (less commonly interiorly, from the Great Lakes south); in Old World south to Mediterranean Sea, Iran, and Japan. Areas of highest winter density include northwestern Washington and the Gulf Coast near Pensacola (Florida); to a lesser degree, various national wildlife refuges along the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to southeastern Canada (Root 1988).

Area of Occupancy: 501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Estimate based on ponds of 1 to 20 hectares in size and 500,000 breeding pairs

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: With a global population estimate of between 140,000 to 1 million (Birdlife International, 2014), there should be well over 100 element occurrences.

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Population size range quoted in Birdlife International account (2014) as result form Wetlands International study conducted in 2006.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: This estimate is based on the circumpolar range of this bird's breeding range and its estimated population size of over 100,000 pairs for just the North American continent (Stedman, 2000)

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Major threats include human disturbance, forestry operations around breeding lakes, fluctuating water levels, and stocking of lakes with rainbow train. Acidification increased humus content of lakes are also threats. This species is commonly caught and drownedin fishing nets and vulnerable to oil spills (Birdlife International, 2014).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Rate of decline is uncertain but trend is downward (Birdlife International, 2014).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <90% to increase of <25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Wetlands International (2014) said the overall trend is static or decreasing although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Many of the threats are becoming more everyday with increasing human population growth and the melting of the Arctic icecap leading to increased exploitation of the northern portions of the globe that was previously a de facto refuge for this species.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Freedom from human disturbance is an increasingly scarce specific need for many species of birds.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Surveys are needed to determine the breeding and wintering populations relative to ongoing range contraction and possible population decreases (Stedman, 2000).

Protection Needs: None other than implementing measures to minimize the scope and extent of the threats discussed earlier.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: central and southern Alaska and Canada south to Idaho, northern South Dakota, northern Iowa, and central Wisconsin, with the highest breeding densities in southwestern Manitoba; Iceland, Faroes, Eurasia. WINTERS: in North America, mainly along the coast south to California, Texas, Florida (less commonly interiorly, from the Great Lakes south); in Old World south to Mediterranean Sea, Iran, and Japan. Areas of highest winter density include northwestern Washington and the Gulf Coast near Pensacola (Florida); to a lesser degree, various national wildlife refuges along the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to southeastern Canada (Root 1988).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, ILextirpated, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Bonner (16017), Fremont (16043), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Nez Perce (16069)
MN Becker (27005)*, Beltrami (27007), Kandiyohi (27067)*, Kittson (27069), Mahnomen (27087)*, Marshall (27089), Mcleod (27085)*, Norman (27107)*, Pennington (27113), Pope (27121), Roseau (27135), Wright (27171)*
MT Cascade (30013), Chouteau (30015), Flathead (30029), Lake (30047), Lewis and Clark (30049), Phillips (30071), Powell (30077), Sheridan (30091), Teton (30099)
OR Harney (41025)*, Lake (41037), Union (41061)*, Wallowa (41063)
SD Bennett (46007)*, Day (46037), Dewey (46041), Edmunds (46045), Grant (46051), McPherson (46089), Roberts (46109), Ziebach (46137)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+*, South Fork Crow (07010205)+*, Chippewa (07020005)+
09 Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+*, Red Lake (09020303)+, Thief (09020304)+, Two Rivers (09020312)+, Roseau (09020314)+
10 Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102)+, Sun (10030104)+, Teton (10030205)+, Fort Peck Reservoir (10040104)+, Big Sandy (10050005)+, Whitewater (10050011)+, Beaver (10050014)+, Big Muddy (10060006)+, Brush Lake closed basin (10060007)+, Upper Lake Oahe (10130102)+, West Missouri Coteau (10130106)+, Lower Moreau (10130306)+, Little White (10140203)+*, Upper Niobrara (10150003)+*, Middle Niobrara (10150004)+*, Upper James (10160003)+, East Missouri Coteau (10160007)+, Snake (10160008)+, Middle Big Sioux Coteau (10170201)+
17 Blackfoot (17010203)+, North Fork Flathead (17010206)+, Flathead Lake (17010208)+, Lower Flathead (17010212)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Priest (17010215)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Imnaha (17060102)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Wallowa (17060105)+*, Clearwater (17060306)+, Harney-Malheur Lakes (17120001)+*, Silvies (17120002)+*, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+*, Summer Lake (17120005)+
18 Sprague (18010202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
General Description: See Kaufman (1992, Am. Birds 46:1187-1190) for detailed information on identification of birds in basic plumage.
Reproduction Comments: Eggs are laid mid-May to mid-July in southern Canada. Average clutch size is 4-6. Incubation lasts usually 22-25 days, by both sexes. Young are tended by one or both parents, most fledge by 6-7 weeks. Renests if nest destroyed. Usually one pair (sometimes several) per pothole.
Ecology Comments: Primarily nongregarious, except at staging and resting areas prior to and during migration. Predation may result in high nest losses. Size of breeding territory reflects location and abundance of food supply.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Arrives in winter habitat in West mainly in October, departs for northern breeding areas mostly by April, peak influx in south-central Canada breeding areas early May. May aggregate at staging areas and resting areas during migration. Migrates day/night.
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Marshes, ponds and lakes, occasionally along sluggish streams (breeding); bays, estuaries and seacoasts, and in migration commonly in inland freshwater habitats, especially lakes and rivers (nonbreeding) (AOU 1983). Nest on small and large lakes and ponds (about 0.1 ha or larger), in calm waters of marshes, along rivers and streams. Favors areas with much open water. Usually nests among tall vegetation in shallow water. Highest breeding densities occur in pothole marshes of aspen woodland.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Diet mainly small fishes, crustaceans and aquatic insects; also amphibians and leeches; aquatic insects predominate in summer, crustaceans and fishes in winter. Forages by diving in shallow water, often near emergent vegetation; also picks food from surface or from vegetation (Terres 1980, Johnsgard 1987).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 34 centimeters
Weight: 453 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
Help
Biological Research Needs: Surveys are needed to determine the breeding and wintering populations relative to ongoing range contraction and possible population decreases. Description of wintering sites and winter ethology are needed as well as discrete analyses of prey (Stedman, 2000).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of breeding (including historical); and potential recurring breeding at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution of the species.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Breeding territories or home ranges generally small; larger separation distance based on mobility of this migratory species. Solitary breeder or loosely colonial. Where solitary, highly territorial, territories usually less than 1 hectare (Campbell et al. 1990, Stedman 2000). Home ranges at breeding sites 0.033 to somewhat less than 3 hectares; however, foraging flights to other ponds may increase home range to several kilometers (Stedman 2000).
Date: 11Apr2001
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of flocks (including historical) outside the breeding season; and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 50 birds occur regularly for at least 20 days per year would be deemed EOs.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Unsuitable habitat: upland areas.

Date: 22Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 24Feb2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Dean K.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 20Apr1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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