Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-74

Common name:

Red-necked Grebe

Scientific name: Podiceps grisegena
Date: 22 October 2013
Time: 6:35 pm
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Juvenile
Location: Provo Airport Dike
County: Utah
Distance to bird: 150 ft
Optical equipment: 8x43 Binoculars, camera
Weather: Calm, clear skies.
Light Conditions: The sun had just set. I saw it for about 1 minute before the sun slipped behind the mountain. Not good for photos but plenty good to judge color.
Description:        Size of bird: Large Grebe
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Long necked Grebe
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dark gray body, reddish neck, dark cap on top of head, pale cheeks.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Long and thick. Evenly tapered to a sharp point.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Long necked grebe, big tailless body with a long neck and a long pointed bill. Twice as large as the Pied-billed Grebes it was with. The body was a dark gray color. Neck was dark along the back and pale reddish on the sides up to the head. Cheeks and chest were whitish. The head was large with a dark cap. Dark stripes on white cheeks bled into the dark cap. Eye was dark and situated within the dark area of the cap. Bill was mostly dirty yellowish, dusky gray on the top of the upper mandible. Bill was heavy and pointed. Upper and lower mandible tapered evenly to a sharp point, taper just very slightly steeper the closer to the tip. Unlike Clark's/Western with a straight top edge of upper mandible and a lower mandible that curves up to meet the tip of the top.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Swam and dove in water.
Habitat: 100 foot wide canal.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Told from Clark's/Western Grebe by the thicker neck, reddish color on the neck, the bill shape (heavier with a tapered upper mandible), shape of head and dark eye.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen several Red-necked Grebes on the West Coast and a few here in Utah. I am very familiar with Western and Clark's Grebes.
References consulted: Sibley Guide.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Eric Huish
Observer's address: 850 E 100 N Pleasant Grove, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Merrill Webb found it. He reported it to me about an hour before I saw it. Several people saw it the next morning, as far as I know as of this writing - Jeff Cooper, Carlos Caceres, John Crawley, Ned Bixler, Leena Rogers, Milt Moody and probably more. Merrill Webb also reported a RN Grebe at the southWEST corner of the Airport Dike Moat on September 30th (I'm not sure if this is the same bird).
Date prepared: 23 October 2013
Additional material: Photos