horned grebe, credit: Paul Reeves Photography

Special Concern Provincially and Nationally


• Small duck-like waterbird with a short, pointed bill; black head with distinctive patch of golden yellow feathers behind its eye called “horns”; front of neck and
upper breast are reddish
• Males and females look similar, although breeding males are typically brighter than females
• Nests near small ponds, marshes and shallow bays


• Found across Eurasia and in North America
• In Canada, breeds mainly in all of the prairies, but also in British Columbia, the territories, northwestern Ontario and the Magdalen Islands
• Rare breeder in Ontario


• Habitat loss (wetlands)
• Pollution (agricultural runoff, oil spills)
• Disease


• Federally protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
• Not protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 or under the Species at Risk Act, 2002


Long-term trends (1970 to 2011) for horned grebe demonstrate a significant decline in Canada.