Apr 10 2014
I mentioned last month that ring-billed gulls in breeding plumage have red rimmed eyes. Horned grebes go a step further. Their eyes are not only red-rimmed but the eyes themselves are red with a red line from eye to bill. They look like they’ve been on a binge.
Shawn Collins photographed this horned grebe in March when it was partway into breeding plumage.
When they’re finished molting they’re even more colorful but it’s harder to see their eyes.
Last Sunday there were lots of horned grebes at Moraine State Park and they continue this week on regional lakes and rivers, migrating to their breeding grounds in Canada.
Look at their heads. Yes, they have “horns.”
(photos by Shawn Collins)
p.s. Horned grebes (Podiceps auritus) also breed in Europe and Asia where their English name is “Slavonian grebe.”