Clark's Grebe

Aechmophorus clarkii

Order

PODICIPEDIFORMES

Family

Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4

CLGR

Code 6

AECCLA

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Clark’s Grebe is an aquatic species that breeds in large colonies on big lakes and wetlands in many areas of the western United States of America, parts of southern Alberta and Manitoba in Canada, and in central Mexico. While populations in Mexico, much of California, and western Texas are permanent residents, Clark’s Grebes from other areas migrate to coastal areas in California and northwestern Mexico for the winter. During the breeding season, it requires large areas of open water with adjacent emergent vegetation. Although this species is believed to have a fairly small population of 10,000 to 20,000 individuals, it doesn’t show declines that would change its current IUCN conservation rating of Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Clark's Grebe: Large grebe, gray-black upperparts, white underparts, and slender neck with white on front and black on back. White face, black cap extends nearly to red eyes. Bill is yellow-orange. Until the 1980's thought to be a pale morph of the Western Grebe. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Clark's Grebe: Breeds from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Minnesota south to southern California, and sparsely to Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Spends winters along the west coast and the Gulf coast, and on large river systems in west. Breeds on large lakes with reeds or rushes; winters mainly on shallow coastal bays and estuaries.

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Clark's Grebe SONGS AND CALLS

Clark's Grebe A1

Calls from a colony.

Clark's Grebe A2

"Kra-ah-ah" calls fgiven by a few pairs of birds on a lake.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kree-eek"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • First described in 1858, at the same time as the Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe was originally regarded as a distinct species and then as a color phase of the Western Grebe.
  • These two birds are once again considered separate species because they nest side by side with very little interbreeding.
  • A group of grebes are collectively known as a "water dance" of grebes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X