Grebes at Lake Hodges (8 photos)

The grebes at Lake Hodges are my favorite birds. There are both Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark’s Grebes (Aechmophorus clarkii) at the lake. These two are relatively easy to keep apart – the feathers around the eyes of Western Grebes are black, but white on Clark’s Grebes. In addition to that, the Clark’s Grebe’s bill is brighter and slightly upturned.

Their somewhat shrill, reedy call (video, external link) is “the sound of Lake Hodges” to me. Their bright red eyes? Spooky & cool. Their mating ritual with the dancing and running over the water? Awesome. And the chicks riding on their parent’s backs? Too cute!

Here are some photos that I made during the last couple of months. Scroll down or, if you’re using a larger screen, click any photo to open the slideshow with a larger view:

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