Grebe, Western

 
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   Description
ADULT In summer, has blackish upperparts and white underparts; demarcation between these is most striking on head and neck. In winter, retains black and white appearance overall, but plumage surrounding eye is gray not black. JUVENILE Similar to winter adult, but dark elements of plumage are paler and eye is duller..

Dimensions
Length: 22-29"

Voice
Utters a harsh, squealing kreeh kreet.

Discussion
Waterbird with a slender neck and long, narrow bill. Dives well and for extended periods after fish. Sexes are similar and all birds can be confused with Clark's Grebe. Extent of black cap is a good feature in breeding season: extends below beady red eye in Western, but not in Clark's; less obvious in winter. Bill color is more reliable year-round: yellowish green with a darker culmen in Western, but uniformly bright yellow in Clark's. Somewhat gregarious outside breeding season.