They breed in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes, nesting on the water's edge, since their legs are set too far back for easy walking. Usually two eggs are laid, and the striped young may be carried on the adult's back.
All the genus are excellent swimmers and divers, and pursue their fish prey underwater.
Adults have striking breeding plumage, with no difference between the sexes. In winter, the plumage is subdued whites and greys.
Ogawa et al. (2015) found that Rollandia is embedded in Podiceps, so it has been merged into Podiceps. Based on Ogawa et al. (2015), the Eared Grebe, Podiceps californicus, has been split from the Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis. Bochenski's (1994) osteological study of the grebes found that the Great Grebe is significantly different from the other Podiceps grebes. He created the genus Podicephorus for it.
- Red-necked Grebe, Podiceps grisegena
- Great Crested Grebe, Podiceps cristatus
- Horned Grebe / Slavonian Grebe, Podiceps auritus
- White-tufted Grebe, Podiceps rolland
- Titicaca Grebe, Podiceps micropterus
- Hooded Grebe, Podiceps gallardoi
- Silvery Grebe, Podiceps occipitalis
- Junin Grebe, Podiceps taczanowskii
- Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
- Eared Grebe, Podiceps californicus
- Colombian Grebe, Podiceps andinus - extinct (1977)
One of the very oldest fossil grebes known to date actually belongs to this genus. Altogether - as in all grebes - the fossil record leaves much to be desired, being quite complete for the last 5 million years before present or so, but very incomplete before the Pliocene.
Fossil species of Podiceps are:
- Podiceps oligocaenus (John Day Late Oligocene/Early Miocene)
- Podiceps cf. auritus (Early Pliocene of Florida, USA) - formerly P. pisanus, P. howardae and Pliodytes lanquisti
- Podiceps subparvus (Middle Pliocene of California, USA)
- Podiceps discors (Late Pliocene of WC USA)
- Podiceps? sp. (Late Pliocene of WC USA) - see Murray (1967)
- Podiceps sp. (Early Pleistocene of Dursunlu, Turkey) - see Louchart et al. (1998)
- Podiceps dixi (Late Pleistocene)
- Podiceps parvus (Late Pleistocene of W North America)
Among the material assigned to P. parvus were bones of another species, which may or may not belong into this genus (Murray 1967)[verification needed].
- ^ a b Ogawa, L.M., P.C. Pulgarin, D.A. Vance, J. Fjeldså, and M. van Tuinen (2015), Opposing demographic histories reveal rapid evolution in grebes (Aves: Podicipedidae), Auk 132, 771-786.
- ^ Bochenski, Z.B. (1994), The comparative osteology of grebes (Aves: Podicipediformes) and its systematic implications, Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia 37, 191-346.
- Louchart, Antoine; Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile; Guleç, Erksin; Howell, Francis Clark & White, Tim D. (1998): L'avifaune de Dursunlu, Turquie, Pléistocène inférieur: climat, environnement et biogéographie. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris IIA 327(5): 341-346. [French with English abridged version] doi:10.1016/S1251-8050(98)80053-0 (HTML abstract)
- Ogilvie, Malcolm Alexander & Rose, Chris (2003): Grebes of the World. B. Coleman, Uxbridge. ISBN 1-872842-03-8
- Murray, Bertram G. Jr (1967): Grebes from the Late Pliocene of North America. Condor 69(3): 277-288. PDF fulltext
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