Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Podilymbus podiceps - Pied-Billed Grebe

Range & Status

Breeds in North and South America and is a rare vagrant to the British Isles (37 records).

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: six records of vagrants, the first at Argal Reservoir in November 1992, but had moved to Stithians Reservoir by early April 1993 where it took up residence until September 1995. It paired with a Little Grebe in 1994 producing two hybrid young one of which survived into 1995. Isles of Scilly: three records of vagrants in October/November.

Habitat & Ecology

Freshwater lakes and pools, moving to lagoons and estuaries in winter. Northern

populations migrate south in autumn, sometimes reaching Europe under adverse weather conditions.


The above record highlights the possibility of opportunistic breeding and perhaps even colonisation. A number of other individuals have also been long-stayers, notably a bird at Blagdon and Chew (Somerset) which was present from December 1963 until July 1968.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.