Podiceps grisegena - (Boddaert, 1783)
Red-necked Grebe
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Podiceps grisegena (Boddaert, 1783) (TSN 174479)
French Common Names: grèbe jougris
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101127
Element Code: ABNCA03020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Podicipediformes Podicipedidae Podiceps
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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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 grisegena
Taxonomic Comments: Populations vary in bill and body size; European and West Asian birds substantially smaller than North American and East Asian birds. European and West Asian grebes also show darker back, cheeks, and neck, and less yellow in bill than East Asian and North American birds. Two subspecies recognized: P. g. grisegena for European and West Asian populations and P. g. holboellii, for East Asian and North American populations (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999).
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
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (08Jan2018)

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 Alaska (S4S5B,S4N), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (S1S2N), Georgia (S4), Idaho (S2B), Illinois (SNA), Iowa (S2N), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (S3S4N), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S4N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRB), Montana (S4B), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S1N), Oregon (S1B,S4N), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (S1B), Tennessee (S3N), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S3B,S5N), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (S1B), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (S5B), British Columbia (S4S5B), Labrador (SNA), Manitoba (S4S5B), New Brunswick (S3M,S2N), Newfoundland Island (S4N,SUM), Northwest Territories (S4S5B), Nova Scotia (S4N), Ontario (S3B,S4N), Prince Edward Island (S3M), Quebec (S2S3), Saskatchewan (S5B), Yukon Territory (S4B)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Not at Risk (01Apr1982)
Comments on COSEWIC: The numbers of this fairly common species are stable, and habitat is not limited.

Designated Not at Risk in April 1982.

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: Holarctic. Breeding range extends from Alaska and western and south-central Canada south to Washington, Montana, northeastern South Dakota, Minnesota, and rarely elsewhere in northern United States; also Europe and northern Asia. During the nonbreeding season, the range extends coastally from Alaska to southern California and from Nova Scotia to central Florida (mainly north of Chesapeake Bay), casually along Gulf Coast; also in the Old World. Areas of highest winter density in North America include waters around Vancouver Island in the Strait of Georgia and the Bay of Fundy (Root 1988).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: North American population likely is greater than 45,000 birds; Alaska breeding population includes about 12,000 individuals. Canadian population has been estimated at 20,000, but likely this is inaccurate because it was based on insufficient data (DeSmet 1982). More recently, minimum population estimates for the Northwest Territories exceeded 20,000 (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Reduced productivity and population declines in portions of North America have been attributed to organochlorine residues, recent increases in unnatural predators (raccoon), and human recreational activities (DeSmet 1987). Commercial gill-nets are a potential source of mortality. Habitat degradation has occurred in the breeding range as a result of development near and drainage of wetlands and potholes (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999). Red-necked grebes are vulnerable during winter to marine oil spills (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999).

Global climate may effect lake dynamics and phenology, particularly in northern breeding populations. Breeding pairs need 8-11 days between arrival and onset of clutch initiation. A late spring could potentially shift the onset date of clutch initiation well into summer, jeopardizing chick survival and fledgling success (Bucher 1997).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Currently, the trend is probably stable.

Long-term Trend:  
Long-term Trend Comments: No clear trend has been documented; historical information is scarce. Extensive drainage of wetlands in pothole region of North America throughout the 20th century likely reduced numbers in the southern portion of the breeding range. In Alaska, the local breeding population on coastal zone of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge declined about 10% per year between 1988 and 1998. Declines were also noted in isolated populations on periphery of breeding range in eastern Wisconsin, southern Ontario, and at southern limits of Pacific wintering range (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999). Populations in Canada apparently are stable; on major wintering areas, the species apparently increased from the 1960s to at least the 1980s (DeSmet 1982).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: A comprehensive survey across North American breeding range is needed (Stout and Nuechterlein 1999). Breeding areas need to be monitored at regular intervals. Areas utilized by grebes during the nonbreeding season, including molting and wintering areas where birds are concentrated, are poorly understood,

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Holarctic. Breeding range extends from Alaska and western and south-central Canada south to Washington, Montana, northeastern South Dakota, Minnesota, and rarely elsewhere in northern United States; also Europe and northern Asia. During the nonbreeding season, the range extends coastally from Alaska to southern California and from Nova Scotia to central Florida (mainly north of Chesapeake Bay), casually along Gulf Coast; also in the Old World. Areas of highest winter density in North America include waters around Vancouver Island in the Strait of Georgia and the Bay of Fundy (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, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, 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 Blaine (16013), Bonner (16017), Boundary (16021), Fremont (16043), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Nez Perce (16069), Valley (16085), Washington (16087)
ND Benson (38005), Bottineau (38009), Burke (38013), Dickey (38021), Kidder (38043), McHenry (38049), McIntosh (38051), Ramsey (38071), Renville (38075), Rolette (38079), Ward (38101)
OR Coos (41011)*, Deschutes (41017)*, Hood River (41027)*, Jackson (41029)*, Klamath (41035), Wasco (41065)*, Washington (41067)*
SD Brookings (46011)*, Brown (46013), Day (46037), Kingsbury (46077)*, Marshall (46091), McPherson (46089), Roberts (46109)
WA Ferry (53019)+, Grant (53025)+, Okanogan (53047)+, Pend Oreille (53051)+, Spokane (53063)+, Stevens (53065)+
WI Burnett (55013), Columbia (55021), Dodge (55027), Fond Du Lac (55039), Green Lake (55047), Oconto (55083), Polk (55095)*, St. Croix (55109), Waukesha (55133), Winnebago (55139), Wood (55141)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Duck-Pensaukee (04030103)+, Upper Fox (04030201)+, Lake Winnebago (04030203)+
07 Upper Minnesota (07020001)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Castle Rock (07070003)+, Upper Rock (07090001)+, Crawfish (07090002)+
09 Des Lacs (09010002)+, Lower Souris (09010003)+, Willow (09010004)+, Deep (09010005)+, Headwaters Souris River (09010007)+, Moose Mountain Creek-Souris River (09010008)+, Bois De Sioux (09020101)+, Western Wild Rice (09020105)+, Devils Lake (09020201)+, Upper Pembina River (09020315)+
10 Lake Sakakawea (10110101)+, Apple (10130103)+, West Missouri Coteau (10130106)+, Upper James (10160003)+, Elm (10160004)+, Mud (10160005)+, Snake (10160008)+, South Big Sioux Coteau (10170103)+*, Middle Big Sioux Coteau (10170201)+, Upper Big Sioux (10170202)+*
17 Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Pend Oreille (17010216), Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Little Spokane (17010308), Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001), Kettle (17020002), Colville (17020003), Sanpoil (17020004), Chief Joseph (17020005), Okanogan (17020006), Similkameen (17020007), Banks Lake (17020014), Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, South Fork Payette (17050120)+, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Clearwater (17060306)+, Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+*, Upper Deschutes (17070301)+*, Tualatin (17090010)+*, Coos (17100304)+*, Coquille (17100305)+*
18 Williamson (18010201)+, Upper Klamath Lake (18010203)+, Upper Klamath (18010206)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large grebe.
General Description: In all plumages, identified by its large size and robust bill with yellowish base. In breeding plumage, head has black cap and large, definitive pale-gray cheek patch extending upwards to behind eye. Foreneck and upper breast chestnut; belly pale; sides and flanks grayish. Upperparts dark brownish black. Wings dark, with two prominent white patches: one on secondaries, the other on leading edge of wing. In winter plumage, head has black cap; mouse-gray patch on ear-coverts; and white crescent extending from white chin and throat upward behind ear coverts. Overall appears somewhat dingy, with white or light gray foreneck blending to dark gray-black hindneck (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999).
Reproduction Comments: Egg-laying peaks in June in many areas. Male and female in turn incubate usually 3-5 eggs for 22-27 days. Young are tended by both parents, independent probably at 8-10 weeks. Usually 1 brood/year. Usually nests solitarily, sometimes in loose colony.
Ecology Comments: Breeding territory size variable, reflects food supply and other ecological factors. Each breeding pair usually defends about 68-114 meters of shoreline and associated waters, where all activities take place (Palmer 1962). Occasionally, pairs may nest as little as 9 meters apart.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Northward migration along U.S. Pacific coast starts in March; movements through western interior occur late April-May. Arrives in all except most northern breeding areas by May. Typically arrives at lakes in spring shortly before complete breakup of ice (late Apr-mid-May) (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999). Return to coastal wintering areas mostly complete by mid-November, though some linger on large inland lakes until late fall. Lake Ontario is an important spring stopover in the east.
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, Low gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Winters along seacoasts, bays, and estuaries. In migration, found on lakes, ponds, and rivers. Nests mainly on shallow, freshwater lakes (>2 ha.) or shallow protected marsh areas and secluded bays of larger lakes, usually with at least some emergent vegetation and fish populations (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999). Nest is usually in reeds along the margins of shallow lakes; made of dead and rotting reeds and flags, water mosses, etc. raised slightly above the surface of the water, and eggs are generally wet and almost awash (Gabrielson and Lincoln 1959). Sites are chosen for combination of shelter from wind and waves, availability of nest materials and anchorage, easy swimming access, proximity to open water, and distance from shore-bound predators (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Feeds on small fish where available, but also eats aquatic and land insects, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic worms, tadpoles, salamander eggs and some vegetable matter. Eats feathers. A visual predator, pursues fish and other swimming prey underwater and plucks items off bottom and off vegetation. Fish may be the principle food item in winter (Stout and Neuchterlein 1999).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 51 centimeters
Weight: 1023 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
Help
Biological Research Needs: Basic information on winter ecology is lacking. Extent of by-catch in commercial fisheries is unknown and needs study.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Breeding Site, Feeding Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely 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.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distances a compromise between the small breeding territory sizes of this species and its obvious ability to move across the country. However, rarely flies outside of migration (Stout and Nuechterlein 1999); terrestrial areas that must be traversed by flight are therefore unsuitable habitat. Territories ranged up to 6 hectares (Wobus 1964). On lakes with semicolonial conditions, nests ranged from 2-182 meters apart (Stout and Nuechterlein 1999).
Date: 06Mar2001
Author: S. Cannings

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
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 09Jan2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gotthardt, T. A., and G. Hammerson. Reviewed by Tamara Mills, USFWS, Anchorage, AK
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Feb2006
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Gotthardt, T. A., and G. Hammerson. Reviewed by Tamara Mills, USFWS, Anchorage, AK

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

References
Help
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  • Andrews, R. R. and R. R. Righter. 1992. Colorado Birds. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver. 442 pp.

  • Aquin, P. 1999. Évaluation de la situation des groupes taxonomiques des oiseaux du Québec. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune. 13 pages.

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  • Bucher, C. 1997. Rabbitkettle Lake indicator species monitoring program data report 1995-1996: Red-necked grebe Podiceps grisegena for Natural Resources Conservation Nahannin National Park Reserve Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories Data Reprot 96-3/NAH.

  • Bull, John. 1964. Birds of the New York area. New York: Harper and Row Publications 540 pp.

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  • Canadian Wildlife Service. 1995. Last Mountain Lake and Stalwart National Wildlife Areas: Bird Checklist - Fourth Edition. Environment Canada. Ottawa, ON.

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  • De Smet, K. D. 1987. Organochlorines, predators and reproductive success of the red-necked grebe in southern Manitoba. Condor 89:460-467.

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  • Gabrielson, I. N. and F. C. Lincoln. 1959. The Birds of Alaska. Stackpole, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Wildlife Management Institute, Washington, D.C.

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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.

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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.

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"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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