English and Scientific names:

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

Number of individuals: 

1 adult plumage

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

GPS 29.76174,-93.55959  1.3 miles east of Constance Beach road in Gulf near shore.

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  

2:45 PM, watched bird about .5 hours. Most of the time it was underwater, but had good looks when it surfaced.

Reporting observer and address:

Melvin Weber
Reserve, Louisiana  70084

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):


Optical equipment: 

30 power scope and 8x50 binoculars

Distance to bird(s): 

About 200 feet to 300 feet

Duration of observation:

Grebe was diving a lot.  Watched from 2:45 to 3:15 at which time I couldn't relocate the bird.


I may have been nearer the rock breakers on the far side.

Behavior of bird: 

It was swimming in fairly calm sea, first on beach side of breakers then far side mostly between two rock piles.


Large black and white grebe with a long neck and long yellow bill.  All white throat and front of neck whit black on back, back of neck and top of head.  Black on head included the eye location.



Similar species:

Clarks  grebe is similar but this bird looked like it was in, or close to adult breeding plumage and  the eye was definitely in the black of the head crown.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Photo's are not of great quality but are included, taken by me.

Previous experience with this species: 

This is a state lifer for me, but I have seen this bird on two other occasions near Denver.

Identification aids:

I consulted the National Geographic guide to verify the markings on the Clark's grebe.

This description is written from: 

Notes made during observation and memory (yesterday).

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Of course I am not positive since Clark's grebe shows a somewhat similar head pattern for winter birds, but I feel pretty good that the head pattern was solid black and covered eye completely.

Date and time: 

1-23-10   4:30 PM