The western grebe breeds on freshwater lakes and marshes in the western half of North America. They usually build their nests on the water anchoring them with vegetation. During the winter they head to the Pacific coast where they gather in protected bays and estuaries. They are sometimes called a swan grebe or swan necked grebe because of their long neck. We saw many western grebes at Medicine Lake NWR in Montana on our way back from Yellowstone.