Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) bird information


Black-necked Grebe is a small grebe, similar in size to Slavonian Grebe but head rounder and bill thinner and uptilted. Decidedly less maritime than Slavonian in winter, frequenting large reservoirs and gravel pits, usually within easy reach of the coast.

Winter plumage is dark cap with pale area extending to hind crown; neck smudgy grey. Black-necked Grebe has, in summer, head, neck and breast black broken only by a golden fan of plumes extending from eye. Back black; flanks rust-red.

Status: Black-necked Grebe breeds central Scotland, western Ireland and occasionally elsewhere. Winter visitor to southern Scottish and English waters.

Similar Species: Slavonian Grebe, especially in winter when Slavonian has more clear-cup cap, white (not grey) neck, and appears more black and white.

Black-Necked Grebe Facts

Size28-33 cm (12 in)
Behaviourswims, dives from surface, take off and lands on water
Flockingcolonial; small flocks winter
Flightlaboured, direct
Voicequiet poo-eep; variety harsh notes

Bird Identification


Crownblack, golden ‘fan’
Tailblack; short and rounded
Billblack; short and uplifted
Legsblack; short
Ad.winterblack above, greyish white below, smudgy cap, a smudgy grey throat
Juvenileas Ad.winter but browner

Black-necked Grebe Breeding

Nestfloating mound in water
Eggs3-4, white
Incubation20-21 days
Youngactive, downy
Broods2; April – June
Foodinsects, crustaceans, molluscs
Population20+ pairs, 120 winter

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