The specimens from which my figures of this species of Grebe have been taken, were lent me by my noble and kind friend the Right Honourable the Earl of DERBY, who received them from North America, where, as I am assured, it is not uncommon, although it has not been my good fortune to meet with it.
EARED DOBCHICK or GREBE, Podiceps auritus, Nutt. Man., vol. ii. p. 256.
EARED GREBE, Podiceps auritus, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 108.
Adult 13, wing 5 8/12.
Very rare, and not found by me in America.
Bill shorter than the head, as broad as high at the base, compressed and slightly recurved toward the end; upper mandible with the dorsal line straight and slightly declinate to beyond the nostrils, then direct, but slightly descending toward the tip, the ridge convex, the edge incurved, the tip acute; lower mandible with the angle long and extremely narrow, the dorsal line beyond it ascending and slightly convex, the sides sloping outwards and a little convex, the edges direct, the tip acute. Nostrils linear, basal, rather small, pervious. Gap-line almost straight, being a little recurvate.
Head of moderate size, oblong, compressed; neck long, slender; body depressed. Feet short, large, placed close to the extremity of the body; tibia feathered to within two-twelfths of an inch of the joint; tarsus extremely compressed, its anterior edge with a row of small scutella, the sides with broad scutella, beyond which are some irregular scales, the posterior edge with a double line of small prominent scales; first toe very small, with an inferior membrane, fourth longest; anterior toes scutellate, connected at the base by a membrane, and having on both sides an expanded web-like margin, marked with oblique lines, and having a crenulate edge; claws flat, that of the third toe very broad, obliquely obovate, abrupt.
Plumage very soft, blended, on the lower parts silky, on the back glossy and rather compact. Feathers on the occiput a little elongated; a tuft of very long, loose, linear feathers on each side of the head, rising from over and behind the eye, and covering the ears. Wings small, acute; primaries much curved, the first longest, the second almost equal, the rest rapidly graduated; secondaries short, rounded. Tail a slight tuft of loose feathers.
Bill black, tinged with blue. Iris blood-red. Feet dusky-grey externally, greenish-grey on the inner side. The tufts on the sides of the head are orange, anteriorly more yellow, posteriorly red; the head and upper part of the neck are deep black; the rest of the upper parts brownish-black, the wings greyish-brown, with a broad patch of white, the secondary quills being of that colour. The throat, fore part and sides of the neck are dull black, its lower part with some spots of the same; the rest of the lower parts glossy silvery-white, excepting the sides of the body and rump, which are light red.
Length to end of tail 13 inches; bill along the ridge 11/12, along the edge of lower mandible 1 (1 1/2)/12; wing from flexure 5 8/12; tarsus 1 (6 1/2)/12; hind toe and claw (5 1/2)/12; second toe to the end of the claw 1 8/12; third toe 2; fourth toe 2 1/4.
Young in autumn.
In this state the tufts of the head are not developed, and the feathers of the neck are softer. The bill is greyish-blue, dusky above; the feet as in the adult. The upper parts are brownish-black, the neck tinged with grey behind; the secondary quills are white; the throat and a broad band, curving beneath the ear so as almost to meet the other on the nape, greyish-white; the neck brownish-grey all round at its upper part; the lower parts silvery-white, the sides of the body and rump tinged with dusky-grey.