Bird’s ID – Great Grebe

H.J. Ruiz - Avian101

Great Grebe


The Great Grebe (Podiceps major) is the largest species of grebe in the world. A disjunct population exists in northwestern Peru, while the main distribution is from extreme southeastern Brazil to Patagonia and central Chile.

This is a very large grebe, with proportions more like a goose or a cormorant then a typical grebe. They range in length from 67–80 cm (26-32 inches) and usually weigh about 1600 grams (3.5 lb), but can scale to at least 2 kg (4.4 lb). They are buffy-rufous on the neck and chest, blackish on the back and have a whitish belly. The head is sooty gray with a reddish-brown eye. Due to its size and unique coloration, the great grebe is unlikely to be confused with any other bird, including other grebes.

The great grebe lives on a diet mostly of fish, sometimes over 11 cm (4.3 inches) long, but usually smaller. Prey competition can occasionally occur…

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