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Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

General Description: Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) are sexually monomorphic diving birds with long, swan-like necks and a striking black-and-white neck pattern. In breeding plumage, the top of the head and back of the neck are black, while the throat and front of the neck are white. In winter plumage, the pattern is the same, but the colors are dull. The long bill is yellow-green.

An important characteristic to note is that the red eye is surrounded by black feathers. In a similar species, Clark's Grebe, the eye is surrounded by white feathers. Look carefully, however, as a young Western Grebe might have dull feathers below the eye, leading one to suspect that it might be the other species. The bill in Clark's Grebe is more orange.

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

Taxonomy: Podicipediformes, Podicipedidae

Favored Habitat: Large bodies of water.

Where to Find: Look for this species in neighborhood ponds, parks (e.g., Lorenzi Park and Sunset Park), the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Boulder Beach Marina at Lake Mead NRA, and in the Pahranagat Valley. Western Grebes prefer large bodies of water.

Comments: Grebes eat fish, crustaceans, and other tasty water bugs.

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) If you were a tasty little fish or big water bug, this might be the last face you'd ever see!
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Western Grebes pair up and defend territory during the nesting season, but ...
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
... they are quite gregarious during winter when they can be found floating in large rafts.
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
In Western Grebes, the eye is surrounded by black feathers
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Striking black-and-white pattern on long, swan-like neck
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Wild hairdo on this excited Western Grebe
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Wild hairdo from behind on this excited Western Grebe
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
In Western Grebes, the bill is yellowish (not orange)
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Western Grebe with reflection
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
The top of the head and back of the neck are black
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Young Western Grebe with white-ish feathers around the eye
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Mom, Dad, and a hungry kid
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Mom, Dad, and a hungry kid
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Parent and two kids
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Parent and two kids
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Parent with growing-up kid
more to come ...
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120829

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