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Spot Red-necked Grebe with help from eBird maps

Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe. Photo by John Pizniur

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.

Red-necked Grebe distribution maps
Distribution maps from eBird show where Red-necked Grebes were spotted in December 2008-2018 (left) and June 2008-2018.

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.

See e-Bird’s real-time distribution map for Red-necked Grebe.

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 November/December 2019 issue of BirdWatching.


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