Species Of Grebes
Most species of grebes are found in the Americas, especially in Central and South America. Three species are flightless and confined to single lakes, these being the short-winged grebe (Rollandia micropterum) of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and Peru, the Junin grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii) of Lake Junin in Peru, and the giant piedbilled grebe (Podilymbus gigas) of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The latter species may now be extinct as a result of hunting and development activities around its lake.
Six species of grebes occur regularly in North America. The largest species is the western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) of the western United States and southwestern Canada. The western grebe breeds on lakes and marshes, and winters in near-shore waters of the Pacific, and on some large lakes. This is the only species of grebe that spears its prey of fish with its sharp beak. Other grebes catch their food by grasping with the mandibles.
The red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena) breeds in northwestern North America, and winters on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The horned grebe (Podiceps auritus) also breeds in the northwest and winters on both coasts. A similar looking species, the eared grebe (Podiceps caspicus), breeds in southwestern North America. The pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) has the widest distribution of any grebe in North America, breeding south of the boreal forest and wintering in Mexico and further south.