Birds of the World

Podicipedidae : Grebes

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

Adult male with newly-hatched chick - Nottinghamshire, England - August 2017

Great Crested Grebe is a common breeding species throughout most of Britain, although it was almost driven to extinction in the late 19th century due to their feathers being in high demand in the fashion trade.

Nottinghamshire, England - August 2017

Adult male with newly-hatched chick - Nottinghamshire, England - August 2017

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - April 2017

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - April 2017

Adult non-breeding - Nottinghamshire, England - October 2017

Adult male with 7-week old chick - Nottinghamshire, England - September 2017

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - April 2010

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - March 2010

They breed mostly on large, shallow bodies of water fringed with abundant emergent vegetation and a stable water level to prevent their floating nests being overwhelmed by rising water.

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - March 2010

Their diet is almost entirely piscivorous, although they do supplement their fish diet with aquatic invertebrates (such as dragonfly nymphs and diving beetles) and crustaceans (eg. crayfish and shrimps).  Almost all prey items are caught underwater during dives.

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - March 2010

Adult summer - Nottinghamshire, England - March 2010

Adult summer - Derbyshire, England - May 2013

In non-breeding plumage it is distinguished from other European grebes by its large size, long slender neck and long dagger-like, pale pinkish bill.  Its head is also more extensively white than other grebes within its range.  No other European grebe shows any white above the eye.

Adult winter - Nottinghamshire, England - January 2010

Adult winter - Nottinghamshire, England - January 2010

Adult winter - Nottinghamshire, England - January 2010

Adult winter - Cheshire, England - January 2007

Adult summer race australis - South Island, New Zealand - November 2005

On their wintering grounds and during migration they often gather in large flocks. The australis subspecies found in Australia and New Zealand retains the breeding plumage throughout the year and does not attain the dull non-breeding plumage found in the Northern Hemisphere subspecies.

part of a flock of 150 birds - race australis - Queensland, Australia - October 2016