Family Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Least Concern

Southern Silvery Grebe (Podiceps occipitalis)


French: Grèbe aux belles joues German: Silbertaucher Spanish: Zampullín blanquillo meridional
Other common names: Silvery Grebe (when lumped with juninensis)

Podiceps occipitalis


, 1826,

Falkland Islands


Sometimes placed in genus Dytes. Hitherto considered conspecific with P. juninensis, but breeding bird differs by its grey vs white throat and grey vs black forehead (3); large golden-rosette ear-tufts vs shorter gold-stained blackish ear-tufts (2); paler colour of upperparts (ns[1]); broader black area down hindneck and especially on nape (2); migratory vs sedentary behaviour, with non-breeding plumage (2); and lower-pitched voice (1). Also closely related to P. nigricollis, †P. andinus and P. taczanowskii. Hybridization with P. gallardoi recorded. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C & S Chile, C & S Argentina and Falkland Is; winters in N of range.

Descriptive notes

23–28·5 cm; c. 340–400 g. In breeding plumage has brownish-grey head becoming whitish on chin and throat, with loose tuft of long thin yellowish feathers... read more


Gives series of weak “chek” or “chook” calls. In aggression sometimes utters a short trill... read more


Breeds on open freshwater or slightly alkaline lakes with ample areas of shallow water and dense... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly small arthropods, especially insects and their larvae, e.g. caddis flies (Trichoptera), chironomid midges, corixid bugs and beetles... read more


Egg-laying mainly Nov–Jan in S of range, sometimes later; normally one brood. Colonial, small nests almost touching one another and... read more


Some populations are migratory. Birds arrive in  Tierra del Fuego in late Sept, departing end... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common in Falklands and abundant in Argentina, Chile. The size of the global population is unknown but is thought to number... read more

Recommended citation

Llimona, F., del Hoyo, J., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Bonan, A. (2020). Southern Silvery Grebe (Podiceps occipitalis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 30 March 2020).