Date: 12/1/18 9:11 am
From: Steve Jaggers <sjjag...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Strange Grebe
Hello, good question.


Your first clue might be size as you noted, smallish grebe. Western is larger with a longer neck, also has longer, sharper looking bill.

So smaller and light billed for possible Horned. Both my Sibley and Nat. Geo. show pale bill in winter plumaged birds, perhaps not as yellowish as your photo but in that range. That little red line you noted in the books is missing in your bird but is barely seen in both sources, perhaps not useful overall?


My 2 cents, happy birding.


Steve Jaggers

> On December 1, 2018 at 8:28 AM Nagi Aboulenein <nagi.aboulenein...> wrote:
>
> Hi All -
>
> In our recent Klamath Basin trip, we encountered a strange smallish Grebe on Tule Lake, that Taghrid and I had decided, after some struggles, to identify as a Western Grebe. A photo of it was included in the album I posted on Flickr, but I’m also including it at the bottom of this message.
>
> Since posting the album, several folks have suggested this may be a Horned Grebe, presumably based on size, and other attributes they didn’t elaborate on.
>
> Anyways, enough doubt/questions are now raised about this Grebe that we’d like to get more inputs on this ID.
>
> Here are reasons for why we went with Western Grebe (possibly what’s referred to as a “Downy” in Sibley’s?):
>
> * Yellowish bill - seems to rule out Horned and Eared. I have not been able to find any Horned/Eared Grebe photos showing such a yellowish bill on those species
> * Absence of the red line from eye to base of bill also seems to go against Horned/Eared
> * Not enough orange to qualify for Clark’s
> * Throat seems too clean/white for Red-throated
> This process of elimination left us with Western at the end of the day. Maybe a juvenile or “Downy” Western?
>
> Anyways, we would welcome any inputs or other important attributes we might have missed that should have made the ID easier and more clear-cut. Confirmation of our ID would also be welcome :-).
>
> Thanks and good birding,
>
> Nagi
>
>




 
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