The pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) is a species of the grebe family of water birds. Since the Atitlán grebe (Podilymbus gigas) has become extinct, it is the sole extant member of the genus Podilymbus. The pied-billed grebe is primarily found in ponds throughout the Americas. Other names of this grebe include American dabchick, dabchick, Carolina grebe, devil-diver, dive-dapper, dipper, hell-diver, pied-billed dabchick, pied-bill, thick-billed grebe, and
water witch. Pied-billed grebes are small, stocky, and short-necked. They are 31–38 cm (12–15 in) in length, with a wingspan of 45–62 cm (18–24 in) and weigh 253–568 g (8.9–20.0 oz). They are mainly brown, with a darker crown and back.Their brown color serves as camouflage in the marshes they live in. They do not have white under their wings when flying, like other grebes. Their undertail is white and they have a short, blunt chicken-like bill that is a light grey color, which in su mmer is encircled by a broad black band (hence the name). I In the summer, its throat is black. There is no sexual dimorphism. Juveniles have black and white stripes and look more like winter adults. This grebe does not have webbed feet. Its toes have lobes that come out of the side of each toe. These lobes allow for easy paddling. When flying, the feet appear behind the body due to the feet's placement in the far back of the body. It may be confused with the least grebe, although that species is much smaller and has a thinner bill. Other similarly sized grebes are very distinct in plumage, i.e. the eared grebe and horned grebe. Both species bear much more colorful breeding plumage, with rufous sides, golden crests along the side of the head against contrasting slaty color (also a rufous neck in the horned); while in winter, both the eared and horned grebes are pied with slaty and cream color and have red eyes. The pied-billed grebe breeds in south-central Canada, throughout the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and temperate South America. These grebes may lay up to two sets of eggs a year. Their nests sit on top of the water, their eggs sitting in vegetation that resides in the water.Grebes lay between three and ten bluish white smooth elliptical eggs with the female starting the incubation process. They are incubated for around 23 days by both parents, with the female taking over incubation duties towards the end of that time period. They will cover the nest with nesting material if they have to leave it for an extended period of time. Young grebes may leave the nest within one day of hatching. They are downy at birth. Yellow skin is seen between the lore and top of the head. They do not swim well and stay out of the water. They sleep on their parents' backs. Within four weeks they start swimming. When alerted they will climb on the back of a parent grebe and eventually mature to dive under the water like their parents. Both parents share the role of raising the young – both feeding and carrying them on their backs.Sometimes the parents will dive underwater to get food with the chicks on their backs.