Common Names: Pied Bill Grebe, American Dabchick, Rail, Dabchick, Carolina Grebe, Devil-diver, Dive-dapper, Dipper, Hell-diver, Died-billed Dabchick, Pied-bill, Thick-billed Grebe, Water Witch
Scientific Name: Podilymbus podiceps
Description: Pied-billed grebes are small, stocky, and short-necked.They are mainly brown, with a darker crown and back. Their brown color serves as camouflage in the marshes they live in. They do not have white visible under their wings when flying, like other grebes. Their undertail is white and they have a short, blunt chicken-like bill that is a light grey color, which in summer is encircled by a broad black band (hence the name). In the summer, its throat is black. There is no sexual dimorphism. Juveniles have black and white stripes and look more like winter adults. This grebe does not have webbed feet. Its toes have lobes that come out of the side of each toe. These lobes allow for easy paddling. When flying, the feet appear behind the body due to the feet’s placement in the far back of the body. Because of the feet placement, they are not able to walk on land.
Distribution: They are most commonly found throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, and South America year round. During the summer breeding season, they are most prevalent in central, northern and northeastern Canada.
Habitat: Pied-billed grebes are found in freshwater wetlands with emergent vegetation, such as cattails.