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Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Horned Grebe

Photo by: Ruth Ann Angus Category:  Loons-Grebes

Family:  Podicipedidae

Latin Name:  Podicipedidae

Photographer:  Ruth Ann Angus

Photographer's Website:  website

Key Identifying Points:  In breeding feathers solid yellow patch on side of head. In winter plumage all white patch on side of head.

Comments:  Common in winter on our coast.

Horned grebes are common in winter on the Pacific Coast- uncommon to rare inland.  Winters on open water, mainly ocean and bays, but also large lakes, sometimes in groups of ten.  Seen regularly on Morro Bay, often in company of eared grebes and often mistaken for eared grebes.  Best distinguished from eared by bill and head shape and by details of head pattern. Dives for fish and aquatic insects. This grebe most likely will be seen at the bird festival by groups in field trips for beginning birders, bay cruises, and kayak groups.