Birds of Stone Lakes NWR

Pied-billed Grebe

Grebes

Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

Description

Part bird, part submarine, the Pied-billed Grebe is common across much of North America. These small brown birds have unusually thick bills that turn silver and black in summer. These expert divers inhabit sluggish rivers, freshwater marshes, lakes, and estuaries. They use their chunky bills to kill and eat large crustaceans along with a great variety of fish, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Rarely seen in flight and often hidden amid vegetation, Pied-billed Grebes announce their presence with loud, far-reaching calls.

Habitat

Open water, lakes, creeks, ponds, marshes, tule and cattail stands, seasonal wetlands, mudflats, flooded fields

Abundance

Spring

Common: 60 to 80 percent

Summer

Uncommon: 30 to 60 percent

Fall

Abundant: Expected to be
observed 80 to 100 percent of the time in appropriate habitat

Winter

Abundant: Expected to be
observed 80 to 100 percent of the time in appropriate habitat