Thursday, 8 January 2015

Day 68 - Gorgeous Great Crested Grebes

Great Created Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
non-breeding adult.
Hi all today's Day 68 and I have what I think is quite a beautiful bird. Before I do, though, I would like to thank my Dad for getting the beautiful pictures you can see to the right of this text.

The photos here show a Great Crested Grebe which is probably a non-breeding adult that I saw at Bolton-on-Swale lake. His crest is pretty flat as he's just been diving for food and, as you can see in the second photo, quite successfully! The place I saw them is actually where I went to find the Goldeneyes for my Goldeneye post.

Anyway without further ado, here are the   facts:

    That's lunch sorted!
  • They are the largest of the Grebe family in Europe and they are found across a wide range, from Britain, to Russia.
  • The breeding adult that you can see in the links and video below have wonderful feathers on their heads. Their short dense waterproof feathers were used by the Victorians as a substitute for fur. Victorians (again) really liked these things to the point that in the 1860's they'd hunted so many there was only around 50 breeding pairs in the UK!
  • Happily, now there are around 5,300 breeding pairs in the UK and they have Green Status.
  • As I mentioned above, they are quite a big bird being 48cm in length with a wingspan of around 88cm and they weigh around 1kg.
  • They have a lovely elaborate courtship display which you can see in the video below.
  • Their chicks are little stripy things which their parents often carry around on their backs which again will be lovely to see.
  • As you can see from the picture above, Great Crested Grebes mainly eat fish.
  • They are found in a variety of places, Lowland Lakes, Gravel Pits, Reservoirs and Rivers. In Winter they are also found on shorelines.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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