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UK Nature > Birds > Podiceps cristatus




Scientific Name: Podiceps cristatus
Common Name: Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus, more commonly known as the Great Crested Grebe, is a delightfully elegant waterbird. It has ornate head plumes which led to its being hunted for its feathers, almost leading to its extermination from the UK.

They are found all year round on lowland lakes, gravel pits, reservoirs and rivers; and also along coasts in winter. 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. The young are distinctive because their heads are striped black and white. They lose these markings when they become adults. Very young grebes often ride on their parents' backs.











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