Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena (Boddaert, 1783) RX RENGR 100
Family: Podicipediformes > Podicipedidae

Red-necked Grebe, Tom Streeter

This medium-sized grebe is a scarce winter visitor, mainly to the coasts of eastern Scotland, and eastern and southern England.

Difficult to see for the casual observer, Red-necked Grebes are found in very small numbers on the sea from October to March. In winter plumage they can be tricky to separate from their larger cousin, the Great Crested Grebe, being mainly shades of grey, although the short, thick neck is a good feature.

Atlas data suggest a wintering population of around 50–60 birds is present in most years. Breeding attempts by this predominantly European species are sporadic and very rare, which is a shame as the lovely rufous neck and black and white face make this a striking bird in breeding plumage.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Red-necked Grebe

  • Breeding
  • Winter


Red-necked Grebe identification is sometimes difficult. The following article may help when identifying Red-necked Grebe.

related video

Identifying winter Grebes

From Great Crested and Red-necked to Slavonian and Black-necked, separating grebes in winter plumage can be challenging. This  identification video from the BTO discusses all the features to help identify them with confidence.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Red-necked Grebe, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


Develop your bird ID skills with our training courses

Our interactive online courses are a great way to develop your bird identification skills, whether you're new to the hobby or a competent birder looking to hone your abilities.

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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.




In winter, Red-necked Grebes can mostly be found along North Sea coasts from Angus to Kent, along the south coast of England, and at scattered at inland sites, mainly in eastern England. They occasionally attempt to breed but most summer records are of single individuals.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2



Red-necked Grebe are mostly scarce winter visitors, present from early autumn through to late winter and early spring; odd individuals summer in some years.

Weekly occurence of Red-necked Grebe from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Red-necked Grebe, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report


Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Gobhlachan-ruadh
Welsh: Gwyach Yddfgoch
Catalan: cabussó gris
Czech: potápka rudokrká
Danish: Gråstrubet Lappedykker
Dutch: Roodhalsfuut
Estonian: hallpõsk-pütt
Finnish: härkälintu
French: Grèbe jougris
German: Rothalstaucher
Hungarian: vörösnyakú vöcsök
Icelandic: Sefgoði
Irish: Foitheach Píbrua
Italian: Svasso collorosso
Latvian: pelekvaigu dukuris
Lithuanian: rudakaklis kragas
Norwegian: Gråstrupedykker
Polish: perkoz rdzawoszyi
Portuguese: mergulhão-de-faces-brancas
Slovak: potápka cervenokrká
Slovenian: rjavovrati ponirek
Spanish: Somormujo cuellirrojo
Swedish: gråhakedopping

Links to more information from

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