Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-30

Common name:

Red-necked Grebe

Scientific name: Podiceps grisegena
Date: October 11, 2007
Time: 8:45 A.M.
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Clegg Pond, nr. Sleepy Ridge Golf Course, Orem, Utah
County: Utah
Elevation: 4400-4600 feet
Distance to bird: fifty yards
Optical equipment: Nikon 10x50 binoculars and Zeiss spotting scope with zoom lens
Weather: Clear and cool; about 50 degrees
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird: 19-20 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: elongated body (grebe like)
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray and white
(Description:)            Bill Type: pointed, for catching fish
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Mottled gray back--not solid color. Probably molting.
Dark head with a semblance of feathers sticking up at the back of head 
White cheeks
Bill was dark on upper mandible, yellow on lower mandible, more yellowish at base and shorter than the bill of a Western Grebe, but longer than either a Pied-billed or Eared Grebe.
Neck was reddish, not solid like in the pictures, but some red with broad reddish band up back of neck tending to a lighter color on front of neck down to white belly
Eye was dark, not red.
There was a Pied-billed and a Clark's Grebe right next to it for comparison. The Red-necked Grebe was larger than the Pied-billed, and smaller than the Clark's.
Song or call & method of delivery: No sound made
Behavior: Just floating on the pond, most of the time with bill tucked forward into breast feathers.
Habitat: Golf-course pond
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Larger than Pied-billed and Eared and Horned Grebes, plus the bill was longer.
Smaller than Clark's or Western Grebes with a shorter bill that had a darker upper mandible.
Horned grebe has red on front of neck--this bird had a broad red band on back of neck
White cheek on this bird was much more extensive than either a winter-plumaged Eared or Horned Grebe, plus it was larger.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Have seen Red-necked Grebes in Alaska and once before in Utah County and in Cache County.
References consulted: Kaufman's Birds of No. America
Description from: From memory
Observer: Merrill Webb
Observer's address: 1063 East 400 North, Orem, Utah 84097
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none, at this time
Date prepared: October 11, 2007 0900 hours
Additional material:  
Additional Comments: none