A Western Grebe on a Golden Background

Grebes have always been a category of birds I have struggled to get good photographs of. Not because of any scarcity of the 2 common species in my neck of the woods but rather just more of a personal preference. I like to have a little of the birds habitat in the picture and since grebes sit on open water it usually doesn’t offer much of an interesting background.

But there are a few locations on the bear river migratory bird refuge where I do find grebes, both of the western and clarks varieties, where on occasion the lighting does add something to the open water shot. Last week I found such an opportunity when the sun was just right, bouncing off the thick vegetation and giving the open water a golden hue to it.

The western grebe even sat and posed for me in my favorite grebe shot, the resting position but keeping a close eye on what’s going on around them with their bright red eyes. It is quite interesting how they sit in this pose and often just paddle around the water looking like a small boat. I was happy I found this particular bird on this particular background as most grebe shots I take usually end up on the cutting room floor.

western grebe
A western grebe on the bear river migratory bird refuge.