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2

Great Crested Grebe

(Podiceps cristatus)
Alternate name(s): "Crested Grebe", "Tippet Grebe", "Loon", "Gaunt"; Misnomer: "Carr Goose"
German name(s): "Haubentaucher"

Size: 46-51 cm; wing span 59-73 cm
Weight: 0.6-1.5 kg
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Great Crested Grebe at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "cristatus"

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage; note the frill and ear tufts (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, May 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, May 2017]

Close-up near-lateral view of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Lateral view of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2015]

Lateral view from above of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Lateral view from above of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage; note the partially webbed feet
(photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Lateral view from above of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage, here seen preening (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Near-dorsal view from above of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Dorsal view from above of a Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

NON-BREEDING

Near-lateral view of two Great Crested Grebes in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2014]

Lateral view of Great Crested Grebes in non-breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Montargil, Avis, Evora, Portugal, October 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of two juvenile Great Crested Grebes (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Breeding information

Breeding season: May - Aug Eggs: 3 - 5 Incubation period: 25 - 31 days Fledging age: Precocial

Great Crested Grebe chicks leave their nest at a very young age, soon after the last egg has hatched. They can fly at about 70-80 days of age.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Basket Material: Aquatic plant material Height above ground: N/A

Lateral view of Great Crested Grebe on its nest (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Great Crested Grebe fixing something on its nest (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Eggs

Size: 55 x 36 mm Colour: White Shape: Tapered oval

Great Crested Grebe off its nest, leaving a single egg uncovered (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Behaviour

Pair of Great Crested Grebes in breeding plumage performing their courtship display - here the "head shaking ceremony"
(photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Pair of Great Crested Grebes in breeding plumage performing their courtship display (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Pair of Great Crested Grebes in breeding plumage performing their courtship display (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Part of a pair of Great Crested Grebes' courtship ritual is the "weed ceremony", in which both partners submerge, collect plant material, meet each other, rise up and head-shake together. This is usually followed by copulation on a prepared weed platform.

This Great Crested Grebe was seen collectin plant material to build the pair's weed platform (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Here again the two Great Crested Grebes in breeding plumage; click on image to see them next to a male Tufted Duck
(photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

"Game of Thrones" a la Great Crested Grebe vs. Eurasian Coot? (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Hagnau, Lake Constance, Germany, April 2019]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

crgrebe_20161218.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
? © MD
crgrebe_20161218_2.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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