SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Horned & Eared Grebes getting all dressed up (amended)

Boy, I had to amend this post as it was all goofed up. I had typed the description for the Horned Grebes then added photos and a title for a page I was going to do separately for Eared Grebes. I found some of the Eared Grebe photos weren't very good so was going to combine both species in one post and got it messed up so I have amended the post. (that's what happens when I finish my posting too late at night)

After today's rain let up, I headed for Brush Hollow Reservoir to see if the weather front had brought in any migrating birds as can happen. I was delighted to find 5 Eared Grebes in varying stages of molt from their drab basic (winter) plumage to the very colorful altenate (breeding) plumage. Also present were 2 Horned Grebes already in alternate (breeding) plumage Of course they moved further out from shore when I arrived and stayed too far out on the water for even my 12X digital lens to get in a reasonable manner. After I drove a ways off looking for other birds, I noticed several of these grebes were feeding near the shore. So I did my best stealth approach, keeping some juniper trees between me and the grebes as I approached to about 50 feet from where they were feeding.

Though these are not the finest pics of these beauties, I think they provide reasonable views of one of the Eared Grebes undergoing molt. The colorful appearance of the grebe in the top photo show the gold feathers-"horns"-for which they are named. The middle pic shows off the gold "horns" in a rear shot. And the bottom pic shows one of the Eared Grebes in the process of molting--though still mostly in basic plumage it has acquired some of the golden "ear" feathers of alternate plumage.

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