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A medium-large grebe; length 40-50 cm, wingspan 77-85 cm, weight 800-925 g
 Similar species
A widespread species in the Northern Hemisphere.
The nominate subspecies P. g. grisegena breeds in Europe and western Asia from Denmark and Germany eastwards, ranging north to central Finland and south to the Black Sea; has also bred irregularly in Britain and elsewhere in western Europe. Breeds in scattered populations in Turkey and east to central Asia. The main wintering range lies in the Baltic, from southern Norway to Biscay including Britain, and in the Caspian Sea with smaller numbers in the northern Mediterranean and Black Seas, and rarely south to north Africa.
The subspecies P. g. holbollii breeds in North America in Alaska and much of western and central Canada east to Ontario and in the northern USA in Washington, Montana, North Dakota, northern South Dakota and Minnesota; it has also bred in Quebec and New Hampshire. It also breeds in northeast Asia in northeastern China, the Russian far east (including Sakhalin and Kamchatka), and Hokkaido, Japan. American birds winter on both coasts, in the west from the Aleutians south to northern California, rarely further south, and in the east from Nova Scotia south to Long Island, rarely north to Newfoundland and south to Florida. East Asian birds winter from Sakhalin and Honshu south to East China Sea and a vagrant to Hong Kong.
Migratory and dispersive. The North American subspecies has occurred as a vagrant in Europe.
There are two subspecies:
Small-medium, well-vegetated freshwaters.
It builds a nest of a heap of rotting vegetation, floating and attached to plants or built on the bottom in shallow water. 4-5 eggs, white initially, soon becoming stained, are laid and incubated by both sexes for 22-25 days. Young tended by both sexes for 56-70 days. Single-brooded.
Includes aquatic invertebrates and small fish taken in dives around 30 seconds long.
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