Did You Know? 19 Incredible Hooded Grebe Facts

Read these hooded grebe facts including distribution, populations, and predation

The hooded grebe (Podiceps Gallardoi) belongs to the Podicipediformes family. The distribution range includes parts of southwest Argentina, and their wintering estuaries include Rio Coyole, Rio Chico, Rio Gallegos, and parts of southern Chile. The habitat of hooded grebes includes volcanic upland lakes which are around elevations of about 1640-4921 ft (500-1500 m), and wintering sites are found on the Atlantic coast in estuaries and similar types of habitat. The reproduction of this species takes place in volcanic or basaltic lakes which are surrounded or bordered by cliff walls. Two brownish eggs are laid by the female between December to February. The nest is built on floating carpets, and incubation takes place for three weeks and both the parents are known to feed the young one or the chicks. The nesting happens in colonies.

The body or plumage of the hooded grebes is known to have a black and white pattern with white flanks and neck with a black back and head with a white forehead. The forehead is known to have erected, hair-like orange colored-feathers. The bill is pointed and the feet are lobbed and the young ones have prominent stripes, and lighter underparts as compared to the adults, and the adults or males and females look similar. They are known to be quite vocal and produce different sounds and calls and also known to engage in courtship displays which includes their dance as a display. Their conservation status is Critically Endangered, the threats include climate change and more research is being done to study the threats to these grebes. Predators of this species include American mink and kelp gulls. Being wild and migratory, these grebes do not make a great pet.

The hooded grebe dance is known to be very popular. It is quite interesting to learn about these grebes and if you are interested, read about grebe facts and horned grebe facts too.

hooded grebe

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small Invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.92-1.34 lb (0.42-061 kg)

How long are they?

12.5 in (320mm)

How tall are they?

What do they look like?

Black, White, Gray

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Climate Change, Predation

What is their conservation status?

Critically Endangered

Where you'll find them

Estuaries, Basaltic Lakes


Argentina, Chile





Scientific Name

Podiceps Gallardoi





Hooded Grebe Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hooded grebe?

The hooded grebe is a grebe or an aquatic diving bird.

What class of animal does a hooded grebe belong to?

It belongs to the class of Aves of birds.

How many hooded grebes are there in the world?

It has been estimated that around 800-1200 of these hooded grebes are remaining or there in the world.

Where does a hooded grebe live?

Hooded grebe range is distributed in parts of the southwest of Argentina, and wintering estuaries include Rio Coyole, Rio Chico, Rio Gallegos. They have also been spotted in Magallanes, Chile.

What is a hooded grebe's habitat?

These grebes inhabit volcanic upland lakes, which are around elevations of about 1640-4921 ft (500-1500 m). The lakes are known to be deep and are bordered by reeds. After the mating or breeding season, these grebes are found in brackish waters in small lagoons and similar types of habitat. Wintering or winter season or wintering sites are found or spent on the Atlantic coast in estuaries.  

Who do hooded grebes live with?

These grebes are solitary or found in small groups.

How long does a hooded grebe live?

The exact lifespan of a hooded grebe (Podiceps Gallardoi) is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

These grebes are known to be colonial nesters and to breed in breeding grounds, including volcanic lakes. These lakes are surrounded or bordered by cliff walls that protect them from strong winds. The laying of eggs takes place around January and February. The nests are built or made on floating and dense aquatic vegetation such as Mariophyllum elatinoides. These nests are made on thick and floating carpets or bases of water reeds and are tied up to the vegetation, and nesting happens in colonies. Around two white eggs are laid. Incubation takes place for about three weeks, and only one chick hatches. It is believed that if the brood is lost, a replacement one is laid. Both the parents are known to feed the chick. It is believed that the reproductive rate of these grebes is quite low.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of hooded grebe (Podiceps Gallardoi) is Critically Endangered.

Hooded Grebe Fun Facts

What do hooded grebes look like?

Hooded grebe facts like populations, appearance, predators, and breeding.

The length of these birds is around 12.5 in (320mm). These grebes tend to have a black and white-colored pattern. They have white flanks and a neck with a black back and head with a white forehead. The upper parts of the body of these grebes are dark grayish, while the underparts are known to be white with a silvery tinge and black spots or freckles on the flanks. There is a vertical, thin stripe on the hindneck. They are known to have erected, hair-like orange-colored rufous feathers on the forecrown. They are also known to have yellow wattle, which is crescent-shaped behind the eye. They have a pointed bill that is bluish-gray in color. The color of the eyes is red, and the legs are dark gray to blackish, and they are known to have lobbed feet. The chick is known to have bolder or more prominent stripes and paler or lighter underparts. Adult males and females look similar. After the breeding season, they fly towards the brackish waters, and wintering or winter season is spent on the Atlantic coast.

How cute are they?

The hooded grebe bird is not considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Not much information is available about the communication of these grebes but just like other species, they also produce various sounds and calls to communicate with each other.

How big is a hooded grebe?

These grebes are around 12.5 in (320mm) in length and are known to be smaller than a western grebe and sometimes similar or smaller in size than a horned grebe which is also the members of the grebe family.

How fast can a hooded grebe fly?

The exact speed of this species is unknown, but they are known to be fast flyers.

How much does a hooded grebe weigh?

The weight of this species ranges from 0.92-1.34 lb (0.42-061 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for a male and female of this species.

What would you call a baby hooded grebe?

While there is no particular name for a baby of this species but they are referred to as chicks.

What do they eat?

This species is known to feed on small aquatic invertebrates. Their food requirements include insects, snails, fish like sprats, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, crabs, and the food sometimes also includes seeds. This species is preyed upon by American mink and kelp gulls. The juveniles or the young ones and eggs are eaten by American minks and kelp gulls.

Are they dangerous?

Not much information is available about this species and human interaction, but this species is not considered dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Not much information is available about this species as a pet due to its status, as it is Critically Endangered and it is believed that this species would not make a great pet as they are wild and migratory. It is believed that taming or training wild species is difficult.

Did you know...

Grebe is pronounced as 'greeb' in both US and UK English. It means a family of diving birds, generally gray or brown in color.

Nesting of this species takes place in colonies which can consist of up to 130 pairs.

It has been recorded that the population of hooded grebe is also threatened by the introduction of fishes like salmon and trout to the Strobel plateau.

In 2012, the status of this species was changed or updated to Critically Endangered from Endangered.

The flight of this species is known to be direct with constant and fast wing beats.

This species is known to be quite vocal.

Predators of this species include American mink and kelp gulls.

There have been various plans and actions proposed for the hooded grebe conservation and more research about threats and conservation of this grebe is being done.

Why do grebes dance?

They are known to dance to attract mates. It has been recorded that both the sexes tend to dive in the water and then rise or come up and flow or slide like dancers together. This is known to be the hooded grebe courtship ritual and is also referred to as the hooded grebe mating dance.

Why do grebes have red eyes?

The exact reason for the red eyes of these aquatic bird species is unknown but there are many hypotheses for this feature. The most popular hypothesis includes that they have red eyes as it helps them see better when diving or inside water and another hypothesis states that it is to attract mates.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including great crested grebe facts or eared grebe facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable mallard duck coloring pages.



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