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Grebes of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Going through spring photos and I’ve found a ton from Utah.  I love Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and try to make some time for it every time I’m in Utah–great birding by car and opportunities for digiscoping. Plus the scenery is fantastic!

Grebes are the type of bird that make me wish I could paint or draw well.  Take the above western grebe, it is naturally graceful and elegant, it is as if that bird were designed by Erte.

Okay, maybe grebe’s lobed toes keep them from being 100% cool and elegant, but they mostly keep that goofiness under water.

It must be really hard to scratch an itch in just the right way with those toes, but that’s the price you pay to be a badass swimmer and fisher I suppose.

But this shot just makes me wish I would paint it and really spend time admiring the shape and curves of the bird.  I love digiscoping but in some ways, you get the shots of the birds so quickly, it’s not the same.

Even when they preen the look so cool and elegant.  When they start dancing, I wonder if the other species of waterfowl on lakes see them as the cheerleader and football player at prom–show offs, just because they’re pretty and can dance they think they are so cool.

One of the cool things about Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is that you also get a chance to see the similar Clark’s grebe, they are little smaller, a little lighter in color, have an orange beak and the black on the head is above the eye.  They are a cool looking grebe, but not quite as stunning to me as the western.  Attenborough has a great segment on the Clark’s grebe dance, check it out.

These are just a couple of the many awesome birds at Bear River, but I have so many photos, I need to start putting them up.

When digiscoping this area, you can either use a window mount to attach your car window, or use your car as a blind by standing behind it.  If you move slowly though, the birds seem to tolerate you.  If they swim away, with a little patience, they’ll come a bit closer.

 

 

 

 

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