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Horned Grebe - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Slavonian Grebe)

Alternative Name: Slavonian Grebe

Slavonian Grebe P. a. auritus, summer plumage
Photo by scottishdude
Central Highlands, Scotland, April 2011
Podiceps auritus


A medium-sized grebe; length 31-38 cm (12¼-15 in), wingspan 46-60 cm, weight 300-470 g
All year:

  • White belly
  • Vivid red iris
  • Strong, straight black bill with pale tip
  • Blackish or grey legs
Slavonian Grebe P. a. auritus, winter plumage
Photo by Helios
Queen Mother Reservoir, Berkshire, UK, January 2013

Summer adult:

  • Black above
  • Chestnut neck, breast and flanks
  • Black head
  • Chestnut lores continuing in a line over the eye
  • Orange-yellow to golden-yellow tuft ('horns') towards nape
  • Dark brown hindneck
  • Sides and front of nest chestnut

Winter adult:

  • Black above
  • White below
  • Gleaming white cheeks with sharp contrast to black crown at eye level
  • Peak of crown at rear of head


  • As winter adult but some grey marks on cheeks

Similar species

Horned Grebe P. a. cornutus, summer plumage
Photo by J G Tippett
Columbia River, Kennewick, Washington, USA, April 2013

None in breeding plumage. Winter Black-necked Grebes can be confused, particularly with first-winters, but have even duskier cheeks, with black extending diffusely well below the eye level; they are also smaller, with an up-tilted bill lacking the pale tip, and the peak of the crown at middle of the head. Winter Red-necked Grebe is larger, with grey cheeks and a yellow-based bill.


P. a. cornutus - Breeding Plumage
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
San Leandro Creek Mouth, Oakland, California, USA, 7 June 2021

Breeds in cool temperate to subarctic regions of North America and Canada, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland (rare), Scandinavia, Russia, and northernmost China. Winters mostly at sea on inshore waters a short distance south of the breeding range, less often on large lakes and rivers.



Two subspecies are accepted:[1]

  • P. a auritus (Slavonian Grebe)
  • Europe & Asia. 'Horns' orange.
  • P. a cornutus (Horned Grebe)
  • North America. 'Horns' yellow.


Small lakes and ponds in summer; the sea, large lakes, and slow-flowing rivers in winter.



It builds a nest of vegetation in shallow water. 3-5 eggs are laid incubated mainly by the female for 22-25 days.


Diet includes aquatic insects and their larvae, small fish and crustaceans taken in 30-35 second dives.


Variety of calls when breeding including a long trill.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1