Western grebe photo by Frank Schulenburg / Wikimedia Commons.

Western Grebe

Our largest grebe, the western grebe is black and white with a very long, swan-like neck, striking red eyes, and a long, slightly upturned yellow bill. This beautiful bird breeds throughout much of western North America.

Listen For

The western grebe lets out harsh whistles and croaks.


The western and Clark’s grebes are nearly identical in appearance — in fact, they were once thought to be the same species. Remember that the western grebe has black around the eyes and a slightly duller yellow bill, whereas the Clark’s has white around the eyes and a much brighter bill.

Find It

Look for this grebe on freshwater lakes and marshlands throughout western North America.


Western grebes are famous for their spectacular courtship displays in which the couples zip across the surface of the water, bodies nearly upright with long necks extended.

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