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 Red-necked Grebe, pictured above, in our November/December 2019 issue.
The maps on this page show where users of eBird reported Red-necked Grebe in North America in winter and summer over the last decade. The grebe breeds on lakes and wetlands from western Alaska to the Great Lakes region, as well as portions of the northern lower 48 states, from Washington State to Minnesota (see the June map, above right). By December, individuals are mainly found along the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts, where they forage in estuarine waters such as inlets and bays, but also well offshore. Small numbers of the birds winter on inland lakes such as the Great Lakes, and occasional ice-up can push birds toward open water in infrequently used areas in the Northeast (see December map, above left). During the breeding season, individuals are highly territorial. Pairs share care of the young, and the species’ raucous calls can often be heard from a great distance.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the November/December 2019 issue of BirdWatching.