This week’s photo, taken April 20, 2013 from the north beach of Discovery Park in Seattle, WA, features a HORNED GREBE in breeding plumage.
This past winter, Horned Grebes frequently floated close to shore along the Puget Sound, but due to their rather drab gray and white markings, this bird-watcher paid them little attention. The grebe’s only hint of color was its bright red eye.
Now spring has arrived, and it feels like I’ve traded in my black and white television for a color model. The HORNED GREBE has morphed from a rather plain-looking aquatic bird into a real stunner. Its former white neck is now a rich reddish-brown, and that rufous coloration circles its body as well. Most noticeably, golden “horns” flare from behind the eyes to beyond the back of the head.
What a difference a season makes.