Formerly considered to be the same species as the Western Grebe, the Clark’s Grebe attained full species status based on mating preferences and genetic studies. One behavioral difference between the two species is a tendency for Clark’s Grebes to more often spring forward during a dive.
Differences in bill color as well as one seemingly minor difference in call likely contribute to Clark’s Grebes being able to recognize one another and avoid Western Grebes while courting, even though the courtship displays of the two species appear to be identical.
A large, long-necked grebe with a long, pointed bill. The Clark’s Grebe is boldly patterned in black and white, with a black back, hind neck, and crown, and white underparts. The black on the head does not encircle the red eye, and its bill is orange-yellow. White secondaries.
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