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Grebes are duck-like birds with lobed toes that help make them excellent swimmers. Not often seen in flight or on the ground.


What you should know:


Identification challenges

Non-breeding plumaged Eared and Horned Grebes are very similar.

Western and Clark’s Grebes are very similar and were previously considered the same species.  Winter plumages are very similar.


Select from the species below:

Clark’s Grebe     Eared Grebe     Horned Grebe     Least Grebe     Pied-billed Grebe     Red-necked Grebe     Western Grebe

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe male in breeding plumage.  Photograph Glenn Bartley


Eared and Horned Grebes

Clark’s Grebe, in the back, and the similar Western Grebe in the front. Notice the differences in bill color. The black cap extends below the eye on the Western Grebe.

The two species become even more similar in the winter.
The Clark’s Grebe has less white on the face with the black cap extending down to the eye, gray in front of the eye.
The black cap on the Western is reduced upward.

Western and Clark's Grebes

Photograph © Tom Grey.

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