Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-59


Common name:

Red-necked Grebe

Scientific name: Podiceps grisegena
Date: November 14, 2017
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Length of time observed: 15 min
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Pineview Reservoir
County: Weber
Latilong: 41 1541.54N  111 4927.68W
Elevation: 4,900 ft
Distance to bird: 90 yards
Optical equipment: 85 mm spotting scope with 20 x 60 zoom eyepiece
Weather: Overcast, breezy, spitting rain, temps in 40's
Light Conditions: Flat
Description:        Size of bird: About half the size of a nearby Common Loon
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Body: half-football, neck half as long as body, head shaped like a door-stop wedge
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dusky with little contrast except white belly/secondaries
(Description:)            Bill Type: Spear-like
(Description:)                              
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Swimming alone, not with a dozen WEGR not too far away. Very dusky and about half the size of a nearby Common Loon with a skinny neck and head in comparison to loon. Sturdy, spear-like straight-edged bill. Yellow lower mandible, dusky tip. Upper mandible yellow at base and dusky along the culmen. Dark crown, low arch to flat-headed with peak at rear. Cheeks below eye and throat whitish with dusky overtones. Dark, dusky neck front and back with no color other than gray/black apparent in flat light. Gray, half-football shaped body with minimal, whitish, fluffy undertail coverts. White secondaries visible with a wing flap. Dived frequently.
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard.
Behavior: Swimming, diving alone; rose up out of water forward/above belly once and flapped wings.
Habitat: Large, deep, freshwater reservoir.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
From Western/Clark's Grebe: More compact body, no clearly demarcated black back of neck from white front.
From Red-throated Loon: Crown low arch to flat, yellow bill rather than gray and held pointed down rather than up.
From Horned Grebe: Very dusky, lacking clearly demarcated white cheek from black crown.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Several November RNGR, many WEGR, CLGR, HOGR. One RTLO.
References consulted: Sibley, photos taken by five subsequent observers.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Kristin Purdy
Observer's address: Ogden, Utah
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Mike Hearell, Neldon Kunz, Bill Hunt, Bryant Olson, Lauri Taylor
Date prepared: 11/15/2017 using notes from 11/14/2017 eBird checklist
Additional material:  
Additional comments: