Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more!
Start Your Free Trial

eBird maps show Horned Grebe’s seasonal movements

Horned Grebe in winter (or basic) plumage. Photo by jbuescher

In “On the Move,” our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of the year. We featured Horned Grebe, pictured above, in our September/October 2019 issue.

Horned Grebe eBird Maps
Maps from eBird show where Horned Grebes have been spotted in October 2008-2018 (left) and January 2008-2018.

The Horned Grebe is known to most North American birders only from the nonbreeding grounds and during migration, where it occurs across nearly all of southern Canada and the lower 48 states. During the breeding season, however, the species is found from central Alaska through most of western and central Canada and into portions of Montana and North Dakota, where it breeds in small ponds and lake inlets with emergent vegetation. Horned Grebes nest solitarily or in small clusters of pairs during the breeding season and can occur in large groups of several hundred individuals during the nonbreeding season. In October, look for the species on lakes, large ponds, and reservoirs in inland North America, as well as close to shore along both coasts. During the nonbreeding season, in January, the bird is found primarily from Texas east to the Mid-Atlantic region, and along the entire Pacific Coast.

See eBird’s real-time distribution map for Horned Grebe.

Want to learn more about birds? Sign up for our newsletter, full of birding tips, news, and more!

eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at

A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the September/October 2019 issue of BirdWatching.


Read our newsletter!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, and more delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up for Free