Pied-billed grebe

Licking a banana ice cream cone and strolling the embarcadero, I stopped to watch an immature pied-billed grebe swimming close-by. A young man sitting on the wall watched me snap a picture.

“Why are you taking a picture of a duck?”

It’s not a duck, it’s a grebe.”


“No, greb-b-b-bah.”


No, grebe, with a B.”

“What’s a grebe?”

“Well, it’s a diving bird, sorta like a duck….”

“I thought it wasn’t a duck.”

“It’s not a duck. Look at its feet, they are not webbed.”

“Huh. You’re right. It has kinda fingers on its feet.”

“Good. You’re right. They are lobed.”

“How do you know it’s a baby grebe?”

“It still has a little striping on the head. Young pied-billed grebes have striped heads.”

“Huh. I never saw one before. I thought anything not a gull was a duck.”

“Nope, totally not.”

As I put my camera back in my purse, preparing to walk back the way I had come, he said, “How do you know so much about birds?” I turned, looking at myself in his mirrored sunglasses, “I read a book.” He shook his head, “Wow, yeah, a book.” I left him shaking his head at such a novel concept.


Filed under Photos, Travel

8 responses to “Pied-billed grebe

  1. What a great (and scary) conversation. Love the way you mentioned that you looked at yourself in his mirrored sunglasses. Fantastic.

  2. really got a chuckle out of this,,, and enjoy your san diego birds! i was born/raised in ca. and lived in s.diego for a few years- fantastic birding, have fun 🙂

  3. This reminds me of the many times I’ve had a conversation about the fact that there is “more than one kind of butterfly.”

  4. hehe…Good one!
    It sounds very familar!
    I wonder whether that blog has a blog…It would be really interesting to read what he’d to write about you…!

  5. I meant to say ‘I wonder whether that bloke has a blog…’
    what was I writing…?

  6. Gallicissa, I knew what you meant. I somehow doubt that he has a blog, or if he does it is probably about surfing. He did not seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  7. Amy

    Delightfully detailed tale!

  8. Pingback: Pied-billed Grebe - Podilymbus podiceps | Birds of the World

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