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Eared grebes (winter)        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Eared grebes breed on northern lakes; in the winter they use both fresh and salt water (sometimes in enormous numbers, as on Mono Lake during migration).   The winter plumage lacks the flashy head plumes and black neck coloration seen in breeding birds, but these little grebes always have an alert, active demeanor and startlingly red or orange eyes.   These grebes were wintering at the Salton Sea in southern California (more images here).   Non-nesting grebes don't often sit on land and some of these birds may have been sick, but they seemed fat, healthy, and lively.

  • Canon 7D2; 800 mm IS lens, some with 1.4x converter and fill-in flash (2017)