During the mating season, the adults start their courtship ritual. They raise their body upright, facing one another, then move their head from left to right. The female puffs up her plumage to look more imposing while the male arches its neck like a swan. They accompany this ritual with loud, hoarse cries that sound like frenzied croaking. In contrast, this species is very quiet in the winter.
The two birds offer one another gifts of vegetation during the courtship, which ends in an impressive synchronized race across the water. With their bodies raised, they look like they are running directly on the water’s surface.
The male and female build their nest by the waterside and sometimes even in the middle of a body of water. The floating nest is made of piles of vegetation mixed with mud and affixed to a submerged branch or plant structure. The advantage of a floating nest is that the grebe can avoid walking on land to get to it. The base of the nest is always submerged. This species sometimes builds several nests, then chooses the most suitable one to use.
Females lay two to five white eggs (which eventually become brown, stained by the decomposing plants in the nest) between April and June. They can reproduce up to two times a year. Both the male and female do the brooding and raising. The eggs incubate for 20 to 30 days before they hatch
The chicks can swim from the moment they emerge. During the first two weeks, the parents often carry them in the feathers on their back, sometimes even under water.