Eared Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Centre Furnace Pond, 30 January 1999

Photos and text by Mark A. McConaughy

An Eared Grebe has been at Centre Furnace Pond, located about a quarter mile northeast of State College along the eastern side of Route 26. It is about 0.75 miles south of the U.S. Route 322 bypass that loops north of State College. The remains of the old Centre Iron Furnace is across Route 26 from the pond. A light is located at that spot. Turn to the east across a small, one lane, wooden bridge across the creek that comes out of the pond dam and follow that road around to the pond. Good views of the Eared Grebe can be obtained from the east side of the pond.

I visited the pond on 30 January 1999 and took some slides of the Eared Grebe using a Nikon 6006 with a 500mm Spiratone miror reflex lens. I then scanned some of the better shots for this report. All of the images were enlarged during the scanning to show diagnostic features. This has resulted in some degredation of the image sharpness, but a 1:1 reproduction would have resulted in a very small image. I think the tradeoff is worth it. The Eared Grebe was in winter or basic plumage.

This photo shows the Eared Grebe's right side. The dark ear cover or "flap" is noticeable. It also shows the "dirty" or "dusky" neck typical of winter plumage Eared Grebes. A white chin spot is also quite noticeable. Less noticeable is the lighter cresent that goes around the black ear cover. It has a red eye and thin bill. A typical Horned Grebe would have a white cheek patch and the neck would also be white or much cleaner looking than what is displayed by this bird.

This is a view of the left side of the Eared Grebe. It also shows the dark ear "flap", white chin and thin bill characteristic of winter plumage Eared Grebes.

This is another view of the right side of the bird. The dirty or "dusky" neck typical of winter plumage Eared Grebes is really noticeable in this photo.

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