Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

Adult breeding plumage Great Crested Grebe (subspecies P. c. cristatus) at Rutland Water, Rutland - July 2012

Featured Subspecies: Pociceps cristatus cristatus
Local Name (Japan): Kanmuri kaitsuburi (カンムリカイツブリ) - "Crested Grebe"
Weight: 900-1500g
Length: 46-51cm
Wingspan: 59-73cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

One of Britain's two "common" grebes, perhaps the Great Crested Grebe's biggest claim to fame is that the RSPB was set up in part to protect this species from over hunting (for its feathers in women's hats) and thus is in part responsible for the continued existance of a lot of other species. The great crested grebe itself is found on most large bodies of water - most lake sites I visit seem to have good numbers of them. Photographing them is perhaps easier on smaller (or at least narrower) bodies of water where you'll be closer to them, or in locations where they are nesting within view of the shore.  It is found over most of the Old World, and thus is one of the more omnipresent species in that range.

Related Species:
Order: Podicepiformes
Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Podiceps
Subspecies: P. c. cristatus, P. c. infuscatus, P. c. australis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Fairly common resident (5300 adults) and fairly common Winter visitor (23,000 birds)
 - Birds seen at sites including Rutland WaterRegent's ParkBrent Reservoir and Pitsford Reservoir.
JAPAN - A Winter visitor.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: A single bird on the sea at Kamakura.

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, Birdforum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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