This order of freshwater diving birds contains but a single family, the Podicipedidae or grebes. So far, the intrinsic phylogeny of this group of 20 species hasn't been investigated with molecular methods. Due to convergent evolution, grebes exhibit similarity with loons, family Gaviidae (and extinct Hesperornithiformes). Several species are poor flyers, and two species are flightless (Rollandia microptera, Podiceps taczanowskii).

Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus) in non-breeding plumage. 


Fjeldså J (2004), “The Grebes: Podicipedidae”, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ogawa LM, Pulgarin PC, Vance DA, Fjeldså J, and van Tuinen M (2015), Opposing demographic histories reveal rapid evolution in grebes (Aves: Podicipedidae), Auk 132, 771-786. (pdf)