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Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps Cristatus) at Swillington Ings near Leeds, Yorkshire, England - March 2016 | by SaffyH
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Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps Cristatus) at Swillington Ings near Leeds, Yorkshire, England - March 2016

www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greatcrestedgre...

 

 

A delightfully elegant waterbird with ornate head plumes which led to its being hunted for its feathers, almost leading to its extermination from the UK. They dive to feed and also to escape, preferring this to flying. On land they are clumsy because their feet are placed so far back on their bodies. They have an elaborate courtship display in which they rise out of the water and shake their heads. Very young grebes often ride on their parents' backs.

 

 

Overview

 

 

Latin name

 

 

Podiceps cristatus

Family

 

 

Grebes (Podicipedidae)

 

 

Where to see them

 

Lowland lakes, gravel pits, reservoirs and rivers. Also found along coasts in winter.

 

 

When to see them

 

All year round

 

 

What they eat

 

Mainly fish

 

 

UK Breeding:- 9,400 pairs

 

UK Wintering:- 19,000 birds

 

 

Characteristics

 

 

Great crested grebe (breeding)

 

 

Size: between pigeon-mallard

 

Feather colours: brown, black, white, orange, grey, cream/buff

 

Beak colours: black/dark grey, brown/buff, red/pink

 

Beak length: long

 

Beak thickness: long

 

Beak shape: long

 

Leg colour: black/grey, brown

 

Behaviour: part of flock, dives underwater

 

 

Great crested grebe (winter)

 

 

Size: between pigeon-mallard

 

Feather colours: brown, black, white, grey, cream/buff

 

Beak colours: black/dark grey, brown/buff, red/pink

 

Beak length: long

 

Beak thickness: long

 

Beak shape: long

 

Leg colour: black/grey, brown

 

Behaviour: part of flock, dives underwater

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Taken on March 13, 2016