Horned grebe (Podiceps auritus)

Content Image

The horned grebe or Slavonian grebe (Podiceps auritus) is a relatively small waterbird in the family Podicipedidae.


Birders can easily recognize the Horned Grebe by its red-and-black alternate (breeding) plumage, its black-and-white basic (non-breeding) plumage and its characteristic “horns”. This small grebe is 31–38 cm long, has a wingspan 55–74 cm wide and weighs 300-570 g. It has a moderately long neck, flat forehead and a rear crown of black feathers. Its beak is straight and pointy with a white tip.

The basic (non-breeding) plumage is overall black and white. The neck, chest and cheeks are white, while the back and crown are a dull black-grey. The border between the crown and the cheeks extend in a straight line behind the eyes. The basic plumage does not have “horns”.

Juveniles appear similar to a non-breeding adult except they are a slightly duller shade of white and their back is tinged with brown. The line separating the cheeks and crown is less distinct and their beak is paler.The chicks are fluffy, with a dull grey back, a white belly and interesting black-and-white facial stripping.

Winter visitor.

photo: Mihai BACIU


Previous Post
Little crake...


Next Post
Red-throated loon...

WhatsApp Logo