Scientific Name: Podiceps cristatus
Name: Great Crested Grebe
This so elegant aquatic bird performs spectacular courtship displays, a kind of “pas de deux” in the middle of a lake, with the reeds as witnesses and sometimes us, when we are lucky!
Size in cm:
Both adults are similar.
In breeding plumage, adults have greyish-brown upperparts, including the very short tail. The upperwing shows black and white pattern. The hind neck is black.
On the underparts, neck, breast, belly and vent are whitish. Body sides and flanks are light reddish-brown. Underwing is white, as the short undertail feathers.
The head is very beautiful with spectacular black crest on the forecrown, and conspicuous ruff around the head, from the cheeks to the hind crown and the nape. This ruff is rufous-chestnut at base, and black-tipped.
Face is black and white with black forehead and forecrown, and white cheeks and ear-coverts. Lores are black, bordered above by white loral line.
The bill is pinkish-grey, fairly long, straight and pointed. Eyes are deep red. The short legs are far on the lower belly, making the bird very clumsy on the ground. The lobed feet and the legs are blackish.
The Great-crested Grebe in winter plumage lacks the ruff and the head is only black and white. The body plumage is duller and greyer.
Juvenile has greyish-brown plumage and streaked black and white head. The young remains striped until it moults into winter plumage.
Size in Inch
gray (Bird may have more colors)
The Great-crested Grebe feeds mainly on fish of various sizes and species, and even small eels. It also takes numerous insects’ species, aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans (crayfish and shrimps), molluscs (snails) and amphibians’ adults and larvae. It may consume some plant matter too.
Habit and habited:
The Great-crested Grebe breeds in fresh or brackish water bordered with vegetation, and some areas of open waters for foraging. This species also frequents artificial water bodies and pools, or backwaters of slow-flowing rivers and gravel-pits.
The Palaearctic birds do not tolerate hard conditions such as occasionally partially frozen waters.
After the breeding season, we can observe dispersion to coasts, estuaries and large lakes and reservoirs.
The Great-crested Grebe gives barking calls rah-rah-rah, also a clicking kek and a low growling gorr. Chicks give loud whistles calls.
The great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is a member of the grebe family of water birds noted for its elaborate mating display. Its scientific name comes from Latin: the genus name Podiceps is from podicis, "vent" and pes, "foot", and is a reference to the placement of a grebe's legs towards the rear of its body; the species name, cristatus, means "crested".
The great crested grebe is the largest member of the grebe family found in the Old World, with some larger species residing in the Americas. They measure 46–51 cm (18–20 in) long with a 59–73 cm (23–29 in) wingspan and weigh 0.9 to 1.5 kg (2.0 to 3.3 lb). It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and pursues its fish prey underwater. The adults are unmistakable in summer with head and neck decorations. In winter, this is whiter than most grebes, with white above the eye, and a pink bill.
The young are distinctive because their heads are striped black and white. They lose these markings when they become adults.