Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

A beautiful and most elegant waterbird with ornate head plumes which has a magnificent courtship display where they move their head from side to side. It has a white face with shows of chestnut, white neck and breast, a dark brownish back, and a very pointed pink bill. The juveniles have a distinctive striped head and their body is pale grey.

To feed these birds dive beneath the surface of the water for long periods, searching for fish and large invertebrates. The nest is a pile of weed on the water anchored to vegetation. It lays 3-4 eggs in 1 brood, February to June. They can live for up to 15 years.

Seen all year round, on large lakes, reservoirs, and large rivers. They may also be seen along the coast in winter. They are common and widespread throughout lowland Britain.

Photograph of Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) taken October 2011, local canal, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

7 thoughts on “Great Crested Grebe

  1. Beautiful 🙂 I have often found them to be some of the hardest to photograph out on the water! Having said that I did get a rather charming image of a juvenile on the Serpentine the other weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 This is a rare one for me, for I too have had difficulty photographing them out on the water. I love to watch them dive in search of food, but have yet to see them perform their elegant courtship dance.

      You should post your juvenile pic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They sit very low in the water! Cormorants are tricky too unless you’re close to them. I have fun at Thorpe Lake where I do open water swimming as there’s quite a number of grebes there of the comedic variety 😉 I swear they’re all nuts!! One pair like to swim in the centre of the jet skiing lake. Suicidal? Nope, they dive just before the boat will actually hit them and resurface the moment the skier has passed! It’s actually quite clever of them really as the boat of course disturbs the lake bed making it easier for them to catch some food. Swimming with one diving next to you can be off-putting though as you always wonder if they’re going to pop right up in front of you 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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