Grebe, group of highly specialized aquatic birds of the family Podicipedidae, of which 6 species are found in North America. They are diving birds of lakes or coastal waters. The feet are not webbed but “lobed” with flaps along the toes. Many of the grebes are brightly colored and bear tufts or crests. Courtship displays are often complex and spectacular. All grebes eat quantities of their own feathers, which collect around fishbones in the gut, allowing these indigestible remains to be formed into a pellet and evacuated.