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Western Grebe

Aechmophorus occidentalis ORDER: PODICIPEDIFORMES FAMILY: PODICIPEDIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large, elegant, black-and-white grebe, the Western Grebe breeds in lakes and ponds across the American West and winters primarily off the Pacific Coast. The very similar Clark's Grebe was long thought to be the same species. Both species have a dramatic, choreographed courtship display, in which the birds rush across the water with their long necks extended.

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Appearance

Ducklike
Ducklike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized waterbird.
  • Black back and face.
  • White neck and underside.
  • Long neck.
  • Long, thin bill.

Immature Description

Similar to adult.

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Western Grebe Range Map
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Similar Species

  • Clark's Grebe is extremely similar, but has white in front of the eyes and a brighter yellow bill.
  • Winter Red-necked Grebe is gray and dingy, not bright white.
  • Loons are shorter necked and have solidly dark wings.