4

EVERY Grebe Species at Memorial Lake

Andy McGann|

Pennsylvania Grebe Perfection.

Every species of grebe (Avian order Podicipediformes, family Podicipedidae), that has EVER been documented in Pennsylvania was present at the SAME place, at the SAME TIME, at Memorial Lake State Park on Sunday, November 4, 2012. Coincidentally, it was also my birthday. While my girlfriend and I were originally planning to visit a brewery in Downingtown, by way of the Black Skimmer that has been hanging around the Conejohela Flats in Lancaster County since Hurricane Sandy, the lure of a new bird for my all-time PA list (Western Grebe), as well as the sheer spectacle of seeing FIVE GREBE SPECIES AT ONCE was just too much to pass up.

I was able to capture some video clips of 4 of the 5 grebe species. (Horned Grebe not pictured.) As you watch the grebes dive, check out the lack of tail feathers. All you get is a couple of longer uppertail coverts and their feet!

P.S. On the way back to York, we stopped to fill my growler at a different brewery in Hershey. Pretty much a perfect birthday!

About the Author

Andy McGann

Twitter

Birding since the young age of 10, Andy has an M.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary. His graduate work included a thesis on the winter ecology of Rusty Blackbirds and projects on the movement of toxic mercury pollution through a riparian food web in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Prior to that, he earned a B.S. in biology and an environmental studies concentration from Villanova University, with undergraduate research projects on Black-capped and Carolina Chickadee hybridization and the conservation of the potentially-extinct Cozumel Thrasher in Mexico. In the past 12 years, Andy has worked on many projects in several states, including the Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas project, Northern Goshawk surveys in Idaho, Canada Warblers nesting in Vermont, and environmental consulting in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska. Andy was also the first recipient of the Ned Smith Center's saw-whet owl banding internship.

A top-notch birder, he once placed second in the World Series of Birding with Drew Weber, Mike Lanzone, and other members of the PA Breeding Bird Atlas point count survey crew. He has enjoyed leading birding tours for the Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) organization, in Cape Charles, Virginia and the Great Dismal Swamp. He serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology and is an active committee member with his local land conservancy.

Andy currently works for Cellular Tracking Technologies, a communications technology company founded to serve the needs of wildlife researchers and conservationists. CTT specializes in machine-to-machine communications hardware and software solutions for low-cost worldwide data delivery via global cellular networks. Lightweight, solar-powered, energy-thrifty, and rugged, these devices are attached to wild animals and high-value assets for long-term remote GPS tracking. At CTT, Andy applies his ornithological expertise, love of technology, and appreciation for geography to help wildlife researchers and organizations around the world obtain the GPS tracking information they need.