Western Grebe, Gilbert AZ

Sitting on the shore of an artificial pond at Gilbert Water Ranch, I hear an odd tone that I’ve never heard before.  As it gets closer, I get more excited.  What can it be?

As the bird floats into view only a few feet from me, I realize that I don’t know it.  Woohoo!  

Full-body profile view of western grebe.

Over about the next 30 minutes I get lots of fuzzy, badly exposed photos of this elegant black and white bird – some at a distance in full sunlight, some reasonably close in dappled light, and most with the bird in motion. But now and again it poses for me, thoughtfully holding its head still in front of a neutral, uncluttered background.

If it’s new to you, too, let me introduce the western grebe, also called the swan grebe.

Close-up of black and white head of western grebe.

Looking down the beak of the western grebe.

 

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