It won’t be long before the high, scratchy kweea kweea calls of Clark’s Grebes (Aechmophorus clarkii) are heard in Utah’s Bear River National Wildlife Refuge if they haven’t already arrived. I haven’t been to Bear River NWR in a while. (I checked on the Bear River NWR site and at least 18 Western Grebes and 16 Clark’s Grebes have been seen there recently)
I think that Clark’s Grebes are striking birds with their long graceful necks, black crowns, sharp bright yellow to orange-yellow bills, lovely white, gray and black plumage and those brilliant cherry-red eyes. Clark’s Grebes nest at Bear River NWR, they build floating nests with emergent vegetation. The young are able to swim not long after hatching and like other grebe young they do ride on the adult’s backs.
Clark’s Grebes are rarely seen in flight because they dive and swim to get away from predators and they only migrate at night. I’d still love to see one in flight and capture their mating display called “rushing”.