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Birds of PSSS

waterfowl loons grebes cormorants alcids

photography © David Gluckman


click to enlarge


What to look for:

  • Our smallest grebes, Horned and Eared, are very similar to one another. Horned Grebes are widely distributed and commonly seen throughout Puget Sound in winter. Note broad white cheek patch, the top of which creates a clean line extending directly back from the bill.  A head with an apparent "flat-top" is also helpful.  Eared Grebes are less commonly encountered on Puget Sound.  Look for a less defined cheekpatch and a "peaked" head.
  • Our larger grebes are the Red-necked and Western and both are widely distributed throughout Puget Sound. Red-necked Grebes are larger than Horned and Eared, with a long dark neck with a white throat.  A large, bulky yellow bill is a helpful field mark.  In comparison, the Western Grebe has a pencil-thin neck and needle-like yellow bill.  Western Grebes often occur in large rafts where you are more likely to see Red-necked Grebes by themselves.


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