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Pied-billed Grebes are small, chunky swimming birds. They have compact bodies and slender necks, with relatively large, blocky heads and short, These are brown birds, slightly darker above and more tawny-brown on the underparts. During spring and summer, the crown and nape are dark and the throat is black. While breeding, the bill is whitish with a black band (“pied’), but otherwise is yellow-brown. Juveniles have striped faces.