Conservation Status: USGS National List of Species of Greatest Conservation Need
Description: A small, red-eyed grebe, these birds are gray and white throughout the winter months but become sleek black on top, chestnut underneath with golden feathers fanning out from behind their eyes during the breeding season.
Play Eared Grebe call:
Where to find them: Eared Grebes can be found across the United States and Europe on ponds and lakes, and even sometimes in the open ocean.
- Eared Grebes get their name from the golden feathers that fan out from behind their eyes during the breeding season.
- They are flightless for a period of time while they fatten up leading up to migration.
- Eared Grebes can only take flight after running on the surface of the water.
- Sometimes these birds are brought into care after being found in roads or parking lots when they’ve mistaken those areas for bodies of water and crash-landed.
Threats: Poor water management, oil spills
How YOU can Help: Keep an eye out for grebes in trouble! If you see one of these birds just laying on the ground, it’s possible they have crash landed and need help from a wildlife rehabilitator.
Audio file from www.xeno-canto.com Recorded by Peter Ward and Ken Hall XC601775
Additional photography courtesy of Sushanta Bhandarkar and Patrick Coughlin