[Tweeters] Where did all the Western Grebes go, anyway?

Matt Dufort matt.dufort at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 21:38:24 PST 2018


Brad et al.,

I've wondered the same thing myself. There's a paper from 2013, based on
Christmas Bird Count data, that focuses on this question:
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0065408.
Basically, they conclude that the total population of Western Grebes
declined about 50% from 1975-2010. But their wintering range also shifted
way to the south - the numbers wintering in the Salish Sea dropped almost
to 0, while the number wintering in California tripled. They speculate
that changes in prey populations might have driven this.

There's also a Seattle Times article from 2014 that references the paper
above, and includes some more local perspectives on what changed in Puget
Sound and the rest of Washington. It's here:
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/once-common-marine-birds-disappearing-from-our-coast/
.

Matt Dufort
Seattle



On Sun, Nov 18, 2018 at 7:04 PM BRAD Liljequist <bradliljequist at msn.com>
wrote:


> I know we are seeing declines in seabirds generally, but I miss the old

> huge raft of Westerns that used to hang out on the north side of

> Discovery. Does anyone know where they went, specifically?

>

>

> This question was prompted by a lovely day of subtle birding at Lake

> Sammamish. Not a ton of birds, but as always the mouth of Issaquah Creek

> was replete with happy sounds of local birds, including a long closeup of a

> Downy pair down low on both sides of me, a real highlight (my favorite

> birding - when birds are so close binoculars are superfluous). I heard

> that very familiar, eerie call of a Western Grebe and when I got back out

> in the open counted 36 of them, a happy sight indeed. A couple hundred

> yards offshore of the main beach.

>

>

> Brad Liljequist

>

> West Phinney Ridge

>

> Seattle, WA, USA

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