Western Grebe

Aechmophorus occidentalis


Willie D'Anna
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eBird Checklist S17956079
Barker Bicentennial Park
Niagara, New York, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 43.3677, -78.5554 Map


Media notes

Observation details

I was doing a painstaking count of the Red-necked Grebes, mostly at high power on my scope, when I came across this bird. My heart leapt when I first saw it but very shortly it rested its head on its back and was no longer so distinct. It was very distant, possibly close to a mile and I wondered if it was just a weird Red-necked Grebe. But after another minute, it raised its head again and I took a long critical look, leaving me with no doubt. I watched the bird in the same general area for the next two hours and was able to show it to Celeste Morien and Joe Mitchell. I only saw it dive once. I had direct comparisons with a few Red-necked Grebes (RNGR) and this bird had a thinner neck and more slender bill. The neck seemed to me about the same length as that of the RNGR. The plumage was simple but very contrasting - dark grayish on the upperparts and white on the underparts. The dark on the crown appeared to come down and hit the middle or bottom of the bill. I never was able to discern the eyes. The flanks often looked like the back with the gray reaching the waterline. Occasionally I would notice a little white intermixed there. The bird eventually moved much closer and I was able to detect a yellowish color to the bill that did not seem orangy-yellow. I managed very few lousy but somewhat identifiable photos.

Technical Information

Canon PowerShot S90
Focal length
22.5 mm
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Flash did not fire, auto
Original file size
2077 x 542

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