call, right before my very eyes and ears, solving one of my most difficult, long-standing cold cases! That day, they were actively feeding which meant they spent most of the time underwater. I did some rapid sketches each time they surfaced, enough to identify them as Pied-billed Grebes (Podilymbus podiceps), but not enough to really get a good look.
Today, as I walked around Lake Ralphine, I was lucky enough to see one floating aimlessly in a shallow area giving me the opportunity to make a few sketches. Pied-billed grebes, besides having a mouthful of a name, are common birds throughout North America and much of South America. They prefer diving to flying and rarely take to the air. I was lucky to work on identifying the grebe during breeding, as the mark on the beak and black throat are part of breeding plumage.