Clark’s Grebe

The Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkia) is a North American member of the grebe family of water birds.

Up until the 1980s, it was thought to be a pale morph of the Western Grebe, which it resembles in size, range, and behavior. Intermediates between the two species are known.

The Clark’s Grebe is black-and-white, with a long, slender, swan-like neck. It ranges in size from 22″-29″.

Among its distinguishing features is its bill, which is slightly upturned and bright yellow, whereas the Western Grebe’s bill is straight and greenish-yellow. It shows white around its eyes, whereas black appears around the eyes of the Western Grebe. The downy young are white, not gray.

This species nests on large inland lakes in western North America and migrates to the Pacific coast in winter. It feeds by diving for carp, herring, mollusks, crabs, and salamanders.

It performs the same elaborate courtship display as the Western Grebe.