Clark’s Grebe Bird – Profile | Facts | Habitat | Sound

Clark's Grebe

Clark’s grebe, scientific name Aechmophorus clarkii is a North American waterbird species within the grebe family with its prompt nature and cute look. In this article, I am going to talk about Clark’s grebe habitat, running on water, sound, dance, vs western grebe, courtship, etc.

Clark’s Grebe Bird facts

Till the 1980s, it was considered a pale morph of the western grebe, which it resembles in dimension, vary, and habits. Intermediates between the 2 species are identified.

One in every of North America’s two marvelously elegant, black-and-white grebes, Clark’s Grebe is a hen of Western lakes and coastlines.

Its sinuous neck and angular head give it a nearly snakelike air, and its elaborate “speeding ceremony”—

a courtship show it shares with its shut relative, the Western Grebe—could make it look as if ballet dancers have taken to the water.

Search massive, inland lakes in the summer season and ocean shores in winter to seek out this species, which may happen alongside the extra quite a few and very comparable Western Grebe.

This species nests on massive inland lakes in western North America and migrates to the Pacific coast over the winter.

It maintains native populations year-round in California, Nevada, and Arizona (the Decrease Colorado River Valley), in addition to central Mexico. It feeds by diving for bugs, polychaete worms, crustaceans, and salamanders.

It performs the identical elaborate courtship show because of the western grebe.

Clark’s grebe Description

Western and Clark’s Grebes had been thought-about the identical species till 1985 after scientists discovered that the 2 species not often interbreed (regardless of generally dwelling on the identical lakes), make totally different calls, and have substantial DNA variations.

One examination in Oregon discovered that Clark’s foraged at better distances from shore than Western Grebes inhabiting the identical lake.

Clark’s grebe intently resembles the western grebe and happens in the identical colonies along with it.

Storer and Nuechterlein in 1992, following earlier morphological research by Storer and others, outline the species as being distinguished from the western grebe by a total paler plumage on its again, in addition to a bigger portion of its face lined in white, because it extends above the eyes, quite than simply under them.

A distinguishing characteristic is its bill, which is vibrant yellow within the US, whereas the Western Grebe’s bill is greenish-yellow within the US, which had been famous by others.

Storer and Nuechterlein in 1992 declare that the bill is barely upturned on this species whereas the western grebe has a straight bill, this was not famous in earlier research.

The grebe has a protracted, slender neck and the species ranges in dimension from 22–29 inches (56–74 cm), with a wingspan of 24 inches (61 cm).

There are few adjustments between the sexes, probably the most notable characteristic that distinguishes males from females is the presence of a slight crest on the heads of males.

In juveniles, the plumage is once more much like the Western Grebe, nevertheless, it is usually paler in comparison with the greyer Western species.

Its relative dimension in comparison with the western grebe is confusing. Dickerman confirmed that grebes from the south of the vary had been smaller than northern examples, no matter which shade morph, with each, morphs being the identical dimension relying on location, and Dickerman initially reinstated the title A. clarkii in 1963 for the smaller, southern populations (no matter which shade morph).

Research by Storer, Ratti, Mayr, and Quick within the 1960-the 70s didn’t discover any dimension variations between morphs.

Nonetheless, some publications now state the paler-colored grebes are barely smaller, which is likely to be because of confusion with the species idea advocated by Dickerman (by which Clark’s grebe does not happen within the USA or Canada, pale-colored grebes within the US and Canada are western grebes, and dark-colored morphs in Mexico are Clark’s grebe).

Though darker and lighter-colored morphs of grebes happen within the resident non-migratory populations happen in Mexico, it’s unclear if these will be distinguished by the opposite morphological traits described above, as most research has solely checked out US populations.

Lighter-colored morphs in Mexico are stated to have orange-colored payments, and the darker morphs have yellow payments.

Within the winter in California, quite a few examples of dark-colored western grebes displayed the largely white face of Clark’s grebe, though this was intermediate and considered presumably because of seasonal adjustments.


Being waterbirds, they require our bodies of water that provide the required meals and shelter that they should thrive—

normally lakes or appropriate wetlands—which might be additionally in proximity to appropriate tree cowl that they will use for nesting.

Clark’s grebe Distribution

Clark’s grebes happen seasonally all through the vast majority of Western America, with a distribution ranging as far south as Mexico, and reaching as far north as British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

They keep away from the chilly and are solely present in the central USA and Canada in the course of the summer season breeding season.

Within the US and Canada, breeding is finished throughout a big portion of the west of those two nations, spanning from British Columbia to Texas, for which the grebes are inclined to favor bigger bodies of water and congregate in massive flocks.

Storer and Nuechterlein in 1992 dubiously declare the birds winter in Central America, in addition to Mexico and a few areas of California. Out of virtually 100,000 data of this taxon logged on the International Biodiversity Data Facility, there are zero data discovered south of northern Oaxaca, Mexico.

The vary of this hen in Mexico is distributed in two streaks southward; one from the California border alongside the Pacific coast all through Baja California and throughout the gulf alongside the coast to southern Sonora, the opposite a better altitude, inland distribution working down from the Large Bend area behind the Texas border down the mountains of central Mexico, with the very best focus in inhabitants within the south from Jalisco to Puebla and northern Oaxaca, the place the distribution abruptly ceases.

These two distributional areas representing the place grebes have ever been seen solely meet one another within the very north of Mexico in a strip alongside the USA border, to the south they don’t come collectively and are separated by a really massive distance. It’s fully absent from the Atlantic coast.



The calls of Clark’s grebe are much like its western counterpart, nevertheless, throughout the courtship, the birds make a ‘promoting name’ to draw mates -this seems like a single, prolonged kreeeed versus the two-note kreed-kreet of the western grebe. The calls of the grebe are inclined to differ little or no between sexes.

Clark’s grebe Diet

Considered a fish specialist within the early 20th century on account of the examination of their pellets and abdomen contents, it was proven by 1962 that Clark’s grebe is definitely an opportunist with regards to the meals it eats and is much less choosy with its choice than beforehand imagined.

Because of this, the species will truly eat all kinds of issues akin to salamanders, crustaceans, polychaete worms, and bugs whereas diving and foraging for his or her most popular small fish, as long as they match the scale constraints of the bill.

Clark’s grebe Reproduction

Clark’s grebes seem to have semi-monogamous habits, staying with a single mate, however presumably just for a single season so far as identified.

Unpaired males far outnumber females. Males, whereas they stick with their mate till at the least a couple of weeks after the hatching of their younger, could have a number of sexual companions of their lifetime.

It’s much less identified if pairs will ultimately mate once more sooner or later.

There are two courtship ceremonies that might be carried out earlier than choice and mating happen: the “speeding ceremony” and the “weed ceremony”.

They entail a sequence of performances and commercials/dances with the companion, or presenting the companion with a bundle of weeds and performing a distinct set of dances, respectively.

As there are fewer females than males, the ultimate determination of whether or not or not mating happens will depend on the females.

Subsequently, there’s a degree of sexual choice throughout the species. These courtships happen throughout spring migration and shortly after arriving on the breeding grounds.

It is very important to be aware that whereas there are only a few instances of breeding between Clark’s and western grebes, there have been instances the place phenotypic hybrids (birds with plumage that’s much like each species) have mated and produced fertile offspring.

It’s believed, nevertheless, that this turns into much less seemingly when the people are from totally different migrations and should not hybrids, as they have a better probability of failing in the course of the courtships.


Select a temperature situation to see which threats will have an effect on this species as warming will increase.

The identical local weather change-driven threats that put birds in danger will have an effect on different wildlife and folks, too.

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