An essay in photos: Six species of Grebe

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How many of these grebes can you identify? Please, let me know, I can help you with any that you can’t ID

The eye colors of some of the species of grebe can be pretty amazing. Some of them you can get a rough idea of the age by their eye color

Grebes and loons are fairly similar in my mind. Both are diving birds that seem more comfortable on the water than out. You rarely see them off the water, and when you do they appear unbalanced, ungainly. They are more likely to dive under water if they feel threatened, than to take wing, appearing at the surface a safe distance away, often in a different direction than whey were heading when they began their dive.

They dive for their food, which while often fish can range through the gamut of seafood... Shrimp for example

Around where I live there are six different species that we see with some regularity- Western, Clarkes, Pied-billed, Eared, Horned, and Red-necked (I led a kayak tour once, where one of the people in the group kept chuckling as he tried to decide which was more of a red neck- him or the grebe).

Some species when they are more inclined to rest, simply fold their long necks down and swim in stealth mode

Each one is different, yet they all share some similarities- lobed toes instead of webbing, long necks, and more.

Their coloration can run the gamut, all though each species is fairly try to its own colors

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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