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Western Grebe

Aechmophorus occidentalis


A large, elegant, black-and-white grebe, the Western Grebe breeds in lakes and ponds across the American West and winters primarily off the Pacific Coast. The very similar Clark's Grebe was long thought to be the same species. Both species have a dramatic, choreographed courtship display, in which the birds rush across the water with their long necks extended.


Small lake in natural grassland preserve, surrounded by agricultural land.


These two Western Grebes were 2 of 7 that came into the Birds of Prey Foundation after a brutal cold snap in Colorado. All had crash landed on icy-wet roads thinking it was open water. Once these water birds were grounded they were unable to take flight again. Two of the 7 had to be euthanized for severe traumatic injuries, 3 were released back into the wild within a week. These two, in addition to their bruises and road rash had moderate frostbite on their toes. However, time and antibiotics allowed them to heal with no permanent damage! They were released close to where they were found. As you can see they were very happy to be free again!

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EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you for the kind words kdpicturemaker! I don't get to draw as much as I used to but at least I have photography as a creative outlet! I certainly love the subject matter!

kdpicturemaker 6 years ago

Beautiful images. You must have some great subjects for your illustrations.

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you Dixie and Kathleen!

Dixie 6 years ago

Great series. Sad that two didn't make it. I liked your notes. They told the story about the pics.

Love your spotting and your information!

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you all! This is certainly a special spotting to me! I went back the next day to check on them and they were long gone! Hopefully they migrated South!

medusasnakes123 6 years ago

Very nice spotting! I am happy to hear that they are healed!

Fyn Kynd
Fyn Kynd 6 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Maria dB
Maria dB 6 years ago

Good to hear that some could be rehabilitated!

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

They are Ashley! They might be my favorite non-raptor! Thanks for look'n! ;)

AshleyT 6 years ago

So sad to thing about those kinds of things happening :/ Glad these guys healed just fine, they are beautiful!

Spotted by

Colorado, USA

Spotted on Dec 5, 2014
Submitted on Dec 7, 2014

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