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Eared Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Sometimes called “Black-Necked Grebe”, the Eared Grebe breeds in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the southwestern region of the western United States. Science recognises three forms of this species. P. n. nigricollis is found in Europe and Asia, P. n. gurneyi lives in southern Africa, and P. n. californicus is found in North America. There are small pockets of habitat in Colorado, California, and southern Mexico where these birds remain year-round.

Our North American birds winter in the American Southwest and south deep into Mexico. Summers find these birds as far north as the prairie provinces of Canada, and south into the Great Basin, the Rocky Mountains and the western prairies of the Dakotas and Nebraska.

Even in their winter garb, the ruby-red eyes of Eared Grebes are captivating to observe. But when summer comes, and they don their breeding finery, they are a sight to behold. Most of my meetings have been in California, but I’ve also found them in Nevada, southern Oregon and even as far north as Grand Prairie in Alberta Canada.

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