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Horned Grebe

Podiceps auritius

The horned grebe is one of the most attractive bird species in Finland. It is smaller in size than the great crested grebe and is easily overlooked by hasty passers-by. The horned grebe can hide in reed beds even long periods.

General information. The horned grebe is an attractive, little grebe. It is a migratory bird and returning to Finland in mid-April. During this time, the horned grebe and other various waterfowl can be observed in open waters where ice sheets have recently melted. The horned grebe is a protected species under the European Union bird directive. The horned grebe is a vulnerable species according to Finland’s threat classification system.

  • Length about 35 cm
  • Nest is built in the form of a float at the edge of a reed belt
  • Migrates to the coast of Western Europe for winter
  • Feeds on water animals and aquatic insects

Habitat. The horned grebe thrives in lush inland lakes and sea bays. It can also be found nesting in artificial, man-made lakes.

Distribution in Vaasa. The horned grebe can be found nesting in Vaasa in the middle archipelago and sea bays. Nearing the end of the 1980’s, the nesting population in the Kvarken-region was estimated at roughly 80 pairs. During the Vaasa Bird Atlas survey studies, the horned grebe was observed in approximately 63 survey blocks. Several blocks had multiple nesting pairs and the nesting population can therefore be estimated at 100 to 130 pairs. For example, 47 pairs were counted during the survey of the Gerby inner archipelago during the summer of 2007. Distribution map is not published due to species protection reasons.