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Podilymbus podiceps - Pied-billed Grebe
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Scientific Name: Podilymbus podiceps
Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
English Common Name: Pied-billed Grebe
Spanish Common Name(s): Zambullidor Pico Grueso, Macá de Pico Grueso
Portuguese Common Name(s): Mergulhão-Caçador

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Class Order Family
Aves Podicipediformes Podicipedidae

Taxonomic Comments: May constitute a superspecies with P. GIGAS (AOU 1998).

Global Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern  
CITES Status: None

BREEDING: In eastern U.S., occurs in ponds, sloughs, and marshes, in marshy inlets and along edges of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, and occasionally in estuarine wetlands (Palmer 1962, Chabreck 1963, Cramp et al. 1977, Andrle and Carroll 1988). Nests are typically built in shallow water surrounded by dense vegetation, especially cattail (TYPHA spp.) and bulrush (SCIRPUS spp.), and are farther from shore than from open water (Glover 1953, Stewart 1975, Faaborg 1976, Sealy 1978, Forbes et al. 1989). Wind and waves are major threats to floating nests and surrounding emergent vegetation acts as a wave break, anchors the nest, and conceals the nest from predators (Forbes et al. 1989). Because the direction of wind and waves shifts frequently during the nesting season, sheltered nesting sites can be limiting (Faaborg 1976). In Nova Scotia, avoided nesting on edges of stands of emergent vegetation that were exposed to wave action, and nest-site selection was related to structure but not type of vegetation available (Forbes et al. 1989). In comparison to randomly chosen marsh locations, nests were characterized by greater distance from shore, increased proximity to open water, and deeper water (Forbes et al. 1989).

Microhabitats at Manitoba wetlands included the densest and tallest stands of emergent vegetation available, particularly those in deeper portions of ponds (Nudds 1982). In Iowa, always associated with dense stands of emergent, littoral vegetation, and avoided wetlands with 100% open water (Faaborg 1976). On moist-soil impoundments in Missouri, habitat use was associated with water > 25 cm deep and vegetative cover characterized as "open, sparse, or short" (Fredrickson and Reid 1986). Grebe use was not associated with shallower waters or "dense" or "rank" emergent vegetative cover (Fredrickson and Reid 1986).

NON-BREEDING: Habitats in winter and migration similar to breeding areas (Cramp 1977), but many shift to more exposed areas on brackish, estuarine waters or sheltered inlets on large lakes, rivers, and salt water (Palmer 1962). Root (1988) noted that the densest overwintering populations occur on wide rivers and large lakes.
Population Status

Distribution Status in Latin America

Native Antigua and Barbuda, Netherlands Antilles, Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Bahamas, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, Martinique, Montserrat, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Suriname, El Salvador, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, U.S.


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Summary Text | Overview Map | West Caribbean Map  | East Caribbean Map | Range Map

Overview Map
Note: indicates countries of occurrence, actual area occupied by the species is usually much less. Footnote - please click for information on permanent, temporary breeding, or non-breeding distribution of birds.

Summary Text |  Overview Map | West Caribbean Map  | East Caribbean Map | Range Map

West Caribbean Map
Note: indicates countries of occurrence, actual area occupied by the species is usually much less. Footnote - please click for information on permanent, temporary breeding, or non-breeding distribution of birds.

Summary Text |  Overview Map | West Caribbean Map  | East Caribbean Map | Range Map

East Caribbean Map
Note: indicates countries of occurrence, actual area occupied by the species is usually much less. Footnote - please click for information on permanent, temporary breeding, or non-breeding distribution of birds.

Footnote - please click for information on permanent, temporary breeding, or non-breeding distribution of birds.
NOTE: Maps for birds indicate countries where a species occurs either as a resident (permanent or temporary breeding or nonbreeding) or as a passage migrant. Not all records of vagrant or accidental occurrences in a country are included in the database.

Summary Text |  Overview Map |  West Caribbean Map  |  East Caribbean Map |  Range Map

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 occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. A shapefile of this map is available for download at

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; NatureServe, 2004

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Version 5.0 (10 April 2007)
Data last updated: April 2007
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