First Winter Eared Grebe in Toronto

Rare in winter, this first winter Eared Grebe is giving close views on Lake Ontario at Colonel Sam Smith in Toronto. Ron Pittaway and I met up with friends for a lovely afternoon - Dave Milsom, Charmaine Anderson and others. 16 January 2017. Its peaked head profile is a good ID character.


Video of Eared Grebe diving at Colonel Sam Park

Its orange eye most likely means it's a first winter bird (See Birds of North America on line "Juveniles: Iris tan with orange tint, becoming orange by Nov-Dec." Pyle II says "iris yellowish tan (HY) to orangish red or red (AHY)." In adults the iris is scarlet and the orbital ring is orange-red to scarlet.


Link to Ron Pittaway's article Small Winter Grebe ID

Eared has more black on the head that extends below and behind the eyes and onto the ear region. 16 January 2017.