My move to the Reno Nevada area has been a big change but one of the things that was a little unexpected was seeing birds in there breeding plumage. In Santa Cruz the Horned Grebes are winter birds and we only see them in their basic plumage. This Grebe was found by a local birder and when I headed out to Paradise Park I was rewarded with this image. This guy was a little west of its migration route to their breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska.
The Eared Grebe breeds in the Washoe County area and they are very common and I have counted over 100 in some area lakes. This is another bird that winters along the West Coast and into Mexico so it was nice seeing them in there breeding plumage.
The Western and Clark's Grebes again winter along the West Coast and head inland to breed. The Western Grebe breeds throughout Nevada and over a wider range compared to the Clark's Grebe that commonly breed in only 2 main areas one being central Colorado and New Mexico and in Northern Nevada from Lake Tahoe Northeast California and into southern Oregon. Although very similar they don't commonly interbreed probably because of the differences in vocalization. The main differences are the bill with the Clark's being more yellow and a little shorter and the face pattern with the Western having more black that extends below the eye.
The Pied-billed Grebe winters in the southern half of the US and into Mexico and heads north to breed with the southern range being very Northern Nevada and into Canada. This is a fairly common Grebe and with this one I have 5 of the 7 North American Grebes. The Red-necked Grebe winters along the West Coast and I have seen them in Santa Cruz (CA). They migrate through Nevada so I'll have to wait until the Fall for a chance to see one in the state. The seventh is the Least Grebe that only gets into southern Texas in the breeding season so I will have to go to them.
Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.