RSPB
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Conservation status: Green

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.

Illustrations

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

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-5,300 adults23,000 birds-

Distribution

Key

Audio

Marco Dragonetti, Xeno-canto