During spring and fall migration there can be so many Eared Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis) on the Great Salt Lake that they are impossible to count.

Eared Grebes on the Great Salt LakeEared Grebes on the Great Salt Lake – Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 130mm, natural light

The diet of Eared Grebes include brine shrimp and alkali flies that are found in hyper saline environments such as Mono Lake in California and the Great Salt Lake in Utah. For most of the year Eared Grebes and Wilson’s Phalaropes are the two bird species that spend the most time in highly saline environments.

It is amazing to stop on the causeway to Antelope Island State Park and see thousands upon thousands of Eared Grebes. Yesterday day most of the grebes were north of the causeway and even with my high-powered lens I couldn’t see where the birds stopped.

Eared Grebe in breeding plumageEared Grebe in breeding plumage – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I think that Eared Grebes are gorgeous in breeding plumage with their primarily dark body and neck combined with the dark head in contrast to the wispy yellow plumes and cherry red eye. I like that crest too!

My portfolio is seriously lacking in Eared Grebe images, something I should remedy.