Western Grebe — Length: 25 inches, Wing span: 24 inches
Once considered the same species as Clark’s Grebe but now classified separately, the boldly patterned, black and white Western Grebe breeds over a large portion of western North America but winters primarily along the West Coast. Migratory movements occur at night, and Western Grebes usually travel in flocks.
Western Grebes are capable divers and propel themselves underwater with their feet. Most dives last about half a minute. Weather is one major threat to Western Grebes, and can cause significant destruction of nests through storm generated wave action. Birds can also be frozen into lakes when surface water freezes overnight.
The Western Grebe has black upperparts, hindneck, and crown, and white underparts. It has a pointed, greenish-yellow bill and red eyes. The eyes are usually enclosed by a black area of feathers extending down from the crown and forehead.
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