Clark’s Grebes Return to Northern Utah

/, Clark's Grebes, Salt Lake County, Utah/Clark’s Grebes Return to Northern Utah

Clark's Grebe at a pond near homeClark’s Grebe at a pond near home – Nikon D200, f8, 1/2000, ISO 400, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When I was at Bear  River Migratory Bird Refuge this past Sunday I saw four grebe species, Eared, Pied-billed, Western and Clark’s Grebes. Pied-billed Grebes are here in Utah pretty much all year long but the other three species are migratory. While I love watching and photographing all of the four species I saw I think the Clark’s Grebes are the most elegant looking of them.

I can’t exactly put a finger on why I feel that way but it might be that their faces are whiter and that the black plumage of the crown doesn’t extend into the eye area in breeding plumage like it does with Western Grebes thus making the cherry red eye more prominent. And those eyes sure do attract my attention.

I always enjoy when the Clark’s Grebes return to northern Utah and hope that this year I will be able to photograph their weed ceremony or them rushing. When they are rushing they appear to be dancing on the water and it is an amazing sight to see.

This image was taken in May of 2011 at a pond close to where I live in Salt Lake County and I quite enjoy the contrast of the brilliant blue water against the black and white plumage of the grebe.

Life is good.



  1. Dennis March 31, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Love This!

  2. Elephant's Child March 30, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    They are indeed beautiful birds. And I hope you can capture the ‘rushing sequence’.

  3. Patty Chadwick March 30, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I agree that these birds are elegant…they can also be the doofiest looking creatures on the planet at times…an interesting transition….sometimes they look as if they have their heads on upside down! their colors are beautiful and dramatic….

  4. Bob mcpherson March 30, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia

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