One of the best parts of birding is that you’re constantly learning, particularly when you know as little about birds as I did when I started out a few years ago. Five years ago I’d never heard of a “grebe,” much less a Horned Grebe. I’ve been observing them for a couple years now, though, and I knew that they looked different in breeding colors, but last Thursday those changes were indelibly etched on my brain at Port Orchard.
Here’s a Horned Grebe that’s just starting to change into breeding colors,
another just starting to change colors,
one that’s nearly completely changed,
and one in full-breeding colors.
It’s hard to believe that they’re the same bird.