Tag Archives: pied-billed grebe

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.”

“Greed?”

“No, greb-b-b-bah.”

“Gredah?”

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.

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