Next Meetup

Photograph Klamath Falls' Dancing Grebes and Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges
We'll return the Klamath Falls area for a trio of great venues. Since best viewing is in the morning or late evening, we'll get a fairly early start with a return to Bend for a late dinner. Plan on bringing a picnic lunch, water, and snacks for this no fee outing. First, we'll stop in town to witness "the chase", "the dance", "rushing", "bobbing", "preening". Many terms describe the fascinating mating behaviors of the Western and Clark's Grebes. They're the largest vertebrates with the ability to walk on water. We're fortunate to be rather close to such an an amazing site within the Klamath Falls City Limits. While the grebes are the featured attraction in the city, pelicans, egrets, black crowned night herons and others birds are quite impressive to see before we leave the city limits. About the Dancing Grebes Both the Western and Clark’s Grebe are commonly seen around lakes and freshwater marshes in Oregon. These two species look and behave similarly. The Western Grebe is larger than the Clark’s and the black cap on the head usually extends below the eye, whereas, on the Clark’s Grebe the black cap extends to just above the eye. During the breeding season, many birds have set courtship behaviors that they follow. Breeding behavior between the Western and Clark’s Grebe is very similar, in fact, scientists considered them to be different color phases of the same species up until 1985. Both birds have two courtship ceremonies that they conduct. One is the “Rushing Ceremony” and the other is the “Weed Ceremony.” The “Rushing Ceremony” consists of advertising calls made to a potential mate, dip-shaking where heads are dipped into the water and shaken on the way out, rushing wherein pairs run on the surface of the water side by side flapping their wings, and finally diving head first into the water. They sprint up to 66 feet (20 meters) across the water in coordinated groups of two or more in about seven seconds. The birds make between 14 and 20 steps per second. In comparison, the fastest humans can make perhaps five or six steps per second. Each grebe's step started with a splayed foot slapping the water, generating between 30 to 55 percent of the vertical force needed to keep the animals from sinking. The rest comes from the bird actually pushing its foot underwater. The bird then lifts its foot out of the water sideways in an arc to start the whole cycle over again. In the “Weed Ceremony,” pairs have already been formed. This ceremony consists of neck-stretching, bob-shaking/dip shaking, weed diving, and bob-preening. During the weed diving, they will gather vegetation from below the water bringing it back up to the surface to display to their mate. They will then shake their heads side to side until all the weeds fall back into the water. Second, we'll revisit the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. While many of the snow geese and bald eagles have migrated north, an increase of waders and shorebirds should be moving through this popular flyway. Third, we'll make a quick detour of Highway 97 to drive through the section of Klamath Marsh NWR that borders Silver Lake Road. Although sightings here can be variable, I had my best day ever photographing birds at this location. Equipment A telephoto lens of at least 200mm would help with getting photos that you can somewhat crop. A pair of binoculars would be helpful at watching the behaviors in detail. You also might want to try to take a video. Tentative Agenda 7:45am Leave Bend Fred Meyer's 10:00am Arrive at Putnams Point, Klamath Falls. 12:00pm Picnic lunch together in the park at Putnam's Point or nearby Moore Park. 12:30pm Leave for Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. 1:00pm Arrive at Lower Klamath NWR. 4:00pm Leave for Klamath Marsh NWR. 5:30pm Arrive at Klamath Marsh NWR. 6:30pm Leave for Bend 8:00pm Arrive in Bend

Fred Meyers parking lot

SE 3rd street · Bend, OR


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The Bend Photographers Meetup Group aims to bring all levels of photographers together through shooting, sharing, and socializing in order to help them to improve their skills and expand their knowledge and passion about photography.

We began in 2008 as a focal point for local, aspiring photographers to come together to share, learn, network and explore their passion for photography. We are a welcoming, inclusive group of photographers ranging from beginning through professional levels of skill. We emphasize an interactive development of our skills through a diverse blend of classes, outings, socials, and photo reviews. We emphasize both the technical and artistic aspects of photography. We foster learning as a community of photographers through shooting, sharing, and discussing our photos.

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Membership fees: to cover admin costs and purchase equipment and supplies to directly support members: $35 (365 days).

Event Fees: Some events. Usually $5.

Dividend Program. Returns most of event fees to members. (e.g., $4 dividend is returned to members after attending a $5 event).

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