I find your comments to be interesting. I did see the bird,
and have made comments to your statements in the body
of your message below.

Ken Allen
Temple Terrace, FL
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>While I did not get a chance to see this bird, I am glad that at least
>three pictures have been published on the Web.  Since I saw the first
>picture I have been puzzled by the bird since it shows several characters
>that I thought to not by typical for a Western Grebe.  Specifically, the
>characters are the rather bright yellow coloration of much of the bill,

While one picture would tend to show bright yellow color
on the bill, the bird when viewed directly had a completely .greenish bill.

>the well-defined white lore stripe, and the amount of light >feathers on
>right flank (none of the pictures show the left flank).

I saw no amount of light feathers on the flank that I
thought unusual for a non-breeding bird. The lore
area, though light in wintering birds, could possibly
be too light for western.

>I did several
>searches of the Web for pictures of both Western and Clark's grebes.  These
>searches yielded more than twenty photographs.  None of them closely
>matched the appearance of the Sanibel Island grebe.
>Still puzzled, I invited the readers of the ID-Frontiers mail list to view
>the pictures.  I received nine responses, all from observers from within
>the normal range of Western/Clark's.  The "box-score" from these responses
>was: Western -1, intermediate/hybrid - 7, dimpled-chad (uncertain) -
>1.  One respondent went so far as to examine more than 60 specimens at the
>Field Museum in Chicago.  This review lead him to change his opinion from
>Western to intermediate/hybrid.

One observer that I met on Sanibel was from the
West Coast. He had seen the bird on more than
one occasion and was not impressed by seeing a
Western Grebe until it was explained how rare a
sighting that would be. Perhaps it had fooled him

>In summary, I think there is considerable doubt as to whether the Sanibel
>Grebe  can be identified with certainty as a pure Western Grebe.
>The pictures can be viewed at:
>Noel Wamer
>Jacksonville, FL, US
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>"Even in its most primitive form, naming is a kind of judgment."
>                                                        (Walker Percy)