Length 46-51 cm.
Wingspan 85-90 cm.
Weight 800-1000 g.
A beautiful and most elegant waterbird with ornate head plumes which has a magnificent courtship display where it moves its head from side to side.
The nest is a pile of weed on the water anchored to vegetation. It lays 3-4 eggs in 1 brood, February to June. It can live for 10-15 years. To feed it dives beneath the surface of the water for long periods, searching for fish and large invertebrates.
Seen all year round, it is found on large lakes, reservoirs, and large rivers. It may also be seen along the coast in winter. Common and widespread throughout lowland Britain. A native species.