Family Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Least Concern

White-tufted Grebe (Rollandia rolland)


French: Grèbe de Rolland German: Rollandtaucher Spanish: Zampullín pimpollo
Other common names: Rolland's Grebe (rolland)

Podiceps Rolland

Quoy and Gaimard

, 1824,

Falkland Islands


Sometimes included in Podiceps. Mainland races often considered to form a separate species (R. chilensis), apparently based solely on significantly larger size of nominate rolland, but no other differences reported. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. r. morrisoni (Simmons, 1962) – C Peru.
  • R. r. chilensis (Lesson, 1828) – Chilean Grebe – NW Peru and SE Brazil S to Cape Horn; winters on coast, some S birds moving N to Paraguay and S Brazil.
  • R. r. rolland (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) – Falkland Grebe – Falkland Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–36 cm; male 248 g (mean), female 424 g (mean). In breeding plumage, the only grebe to exhibit combination of black head and neck and white tuft of feathers on sides... read more


    Generally quiet. Cracking and growling sounds audible at close range, including “jrrrh... read more


    Occupies wide range of wetland habitats. Breeds on marshy ponds, lakes, roadside ditches, temporary... read more

    Food and feeding

    Generalist: diet mainly fish, but also takes wide variety of largish arthropods. Examination of 43 stomachs from Peruvian highlands... read more


    Season mainly Sept–Jan, but at high altitudes delayed by up to two months, lasting until Mar. Laying reported Oct–Jan in... read more


      S populations migratory, making post-breeding movement to nearby coasts, where they... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, and generally common, or even abundant, throughout range. BirdLife summary suggests that numbers of this species are... read more

    Recommended citation

    Llimona, F., del Hoyo, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). White-tufted Grebe (Rollandia rolland). 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 12 December 2019).