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 Horned Grebe

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Horned Grebe.

Use the links below to view the Horned Grebe reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Horned Grebe sightings.
Horned Grebe Archives Reports
Fall 2003 99
Spring 2003 249
Winter 02-03 18
Fall 2002 50
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 185
Winter 01-02 17
Fall 2001 47
Summer 2001 0
Spring 2001 83
Winter 00-01 3
Fall 2000 43
Summer 2000 1
Spring 2000 35
Winter 00-99 2
Fall 1999 74
Spring/Summer 1999 1

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Horned Grebe

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Horned Grebe
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Horned Grebe
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Columbus auritus Linnaeus
Horned Grebe
U.M.M.Z. Animal Diversity Reference

Common transient. Rare in winter. Occasionally reported in summer.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 417).

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in April and May.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 185) gave April 6 to May 16 as the average period of arrival for individuals in the Toledo-Erie marsh area; on April 29, 1928, he recorded 22 Horned Grebes there. In Ann Arbor arrival is usually reported in April, but in 1939 was recorded on March 16, and in 1907 on May 12. Swales noted the species in the Detroit region from April 7 (1903) to May 17 (1916), usually in numbers from 1 to 10, but in 1903 (1904&; 85) he recorded 50 on April 27, 60 on May 4, and 12 on May 10. The species has also been reported from the Battle Creek area by Walkinshaw on April 13, 1930; from Vanderbilt, Otsego County, by F. M. Baumgartner "about" April 28, 1936; from Cecil Bay, Emmet County, by Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) on April 29, 1937; and from Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, where N. A. Wood recorded 2 to 10 daily from May 2 to May 15, 1929, and collected several specimens (U.M.M.Z.).

Upper Peninsula.-In Chippewa County, Christofferson reported 4 Horned Grebes on April 26, 2023 (at Munuscong Bay), and N. A. "Wood (1914: 59) saw 2 daily between May 23 and 27, 1914 (at Whitefish Point); Laurence Dayton saw 1 on May 12 and 14, 1937, on Isle Royale.

SUMMER.-Early writers listed the Horned Grebe as breeding at St. Clair Flats and along the Detroit River, but there are no definite nesting records or specimens taken in summer (see W. E. Saunders, letters of 1904 and 1906 in U.M.M.Z.; Barrows, 1912: 37; and Swales, notes in U.M.M.Z., 1910 to 1916, correcting earlier statements on this grebe's breeding status). Walter C. Wood (1937: 100) reported a pair of Horned Grebes at "Baltimore Bay" (Anchor Bay, near St. Clair Flats, St. Clair County), on June 5, 1922. L. W. Campbell (1940: 31) recorded an individual seen during the summer in the Toledo-Erie marsh area. One was reported from Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, on August 9, 2023 (Fortner and Metcalf, 1929: 249). In the Upper Peninsula it has been reported from Seney, Schoolcraft County, on June 7, 2023 (2 seen by Christofferson), and on June 10, 2023 (an adult in breeding plumage seen by Brodkorb); from Grand Marais, Alger County, on July 8, 2023 (1 seen by Barrows-1912: 37); from the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on June 15 (1 seen by Christy) ; from Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on June 9, 2023 (2 seen together by N. A. Wood-1933: 714).

FALL.-Migration is reported from late August to November, but chiefly in September and October.

Upper Peninsula.-The Horned Grebe was reported from Isle Royale between September 8 and October 1, 1929, by N. A. Wood; from the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County ("uncommon")., between September 29 and October 23 by S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 172); from Blaney, Schoolcraft County ("a few"), from August 23 (1930) to October 5 (1937), by Christofferson; and from Detour and Drummond Island, Chippewa County ("common"), on October 24, 1927, by J. B. Hendryx and L. J. Smits.

Lower Peninsula.-A few specimens (Max M. Peet collection) were taken at Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, from late September to October 21 (1939), and 10 to 15 were seen there by Max M. Peet on September 2, 1941. At Hubbard Lake, Alcona County, one was seen on September 19, 2023 (N. A. Wood and Frothingham, 1905: 45), and several seen and others collected by J. Claire Wood (1913: 13) between October 14 and 18, 1912. The species has also been reported from Mason and Oceana counties on September 16 and 23, 1909 (2 seen-R. W. Chaney, 1910:272) ; from the Charity Islands, Huron County, on September 27, 2023 (9 seen-N. A. Wood, 1911: 85) ; from Birchwood Beach, Berrien County, on September 8, 2023 (N. A. Wood, 1922: 6-7); from St. Joseph, Berrien County, on November 5, 2023 (by Walkinshaw) ; and from the Ann Arbor region, where it has been recorded from September 2 (1910) to November 20 (1910), but more generally in October. L. W. Campbell (1940: 185) gave October 30 to December 3 as the average period for fall migration in the Toledo-Erie marsh area.

WINTER.-The Horned Grebe has been found in winter in Tecumseh, Lenawee County, on February 15, 2023 (specimen in U.M.M.Z. collected by Wright) ; in the Ann Arbor region on January 10, 1902, February 19, 2023 (specimen in U.M.M.Z.), and February 20, 1904; in the Battle Creek area on December 22, 2022 (Kingsley and others, 1932: 58); at Pewamo, Clinton County, on February 15, 2023 (specimen in U.M.M.Z. taken by G. Swindt) ; and at the mouth of the Tawas River, Iosco County, on December 31, 2022 (1 found dead by Karl F. Lagler).

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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