Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Horned Grebe

The horned grebe is a pretty drab fellow in non-breeding plumage, which I've seen, but is spectacular and other-worldly looking in its breeding plumage (which I have not seen). The non-breeding plumage is gray on the back, much of the neck and the cap, white on much of the neck, the lower head and the flanks, with a distinctive red eye. The breeding plumage is a dark black head and back, deep chestnut flanks and neck, and golden tufts of feathers that extend from the red eye to the back of the head that gives it an alien, almost evil, look. 

The main difference between a non-breeding horned grebe and eared grebe is that the eared grebe has fuzzier and less-defined lines on the head and the gray shading extends below the eye.

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