Western Grebe Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A large, slender waterbird with a very long neck, a large head that may show a peak, and a long, slender, pointed bill.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Mallard, smaller than a Common Loon.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 21.6-29.5 in (55-75 cm)
      • Weight: 40.1-64.4 oz (1138-1826 g)
      • Wingspan: 22.8-25.2 in (58-64 cm)

Regional Differences

A mostly migratory northern subspecies, occidentalis, breeds in the U.S. and Canada. It is larger, with longer wings, than the southern subspecies, ephemeralis, that breeds only on the Mexican Plateau.

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