Large, long-necked grebe with very long, thin, yellow bill. Black cap extends below red eye, sometimes with just a small white spot in front of the eye. Long, gray body rides low in the water. Breeds on marshy lakes, where it builds a floating nest of vegetation. Mostly found on saltwater bays and open ocean in winter, but also lakes. Very similar to Clark’s Grebe, with extensive range overlap and often in mixed flocks. Typically outnumbers Clark’s where they occur together. Western looks darker overall, especially on the sides and face. Also look at the bill: duller yellow on Western, often with a slight greenish tinge, and with a dark lower edge. Some birds appear intermediate and should be left unidentified.
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