Birds – Horned And Eared Grebes

The genus Dytes, as recognized by American ornithologists, contains three or four forms in which the bill is much shorter than the head and the wings barely more than six inches in length. Of these the Horned Grebe (D. Auritus) is best known, being found throughout the northern portion of the Northern Hemisphere, breeding in the New World mainly north of the United States, and in winter ranging over most of the United States, as well as Europe, Japan, and China. It is between thirteen and fifteen inches long and has the back and wings blackish, with the lower neck and chest rufous, and the sides of the occiput with a very full dense tuft of soft, ochraceous plumes, whence its common name. It is found mainly in the interior, although frequently visiting the seacoast in winter; Thompson reports it as abundant in Manitoba. The Eared Grebe (D. Nigricollis), which has a relatively wider bill than the last, is found throughout central Europe and Asia, and may be known by the head, neck, and chest being black instead of rufous and by the crest being more tuft-like or fan-shaped. Closely allied, but having the inner quills with the inner web wholly dusky instead of white, is the American Eared Grebe (D. Nigricollis Californicus) of western North America.