Monday, 12 September 2011

Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)

OTHER NAMES: Horned Grebe
Latin Etymology: Podiceps ("vent-foot") auritus ("long-eared")

Adult Slavonian Grebe (subspecies P. a. auritus) in Winter plumage, at Pitsford Reservoir, Northants - September 2011

Featured Subspecies: Podiceps auritus auritus
Weight: 410g  /  Length: 31-38cm  /  Wingspan: 46-55cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

Slavonian Grebes are primarily a Winter visitor with a small number summering in Scotland - in their Winter plumage (shown) they are fairly unobtrusive, and could easily pass for a dabchick if you didn't look closer. Their summer plumage is far more resplendent with red and black plumage with dramatic golden facial tufts. In either form, care should be taken to differentiate the Slavonain Grebe from the very similar Black Necked - in the Summer it is fairly easy as the red neck of the Slavonian contrasts with the namesake Black Neck. In Winter, it is a slightly more tricky affair where you might have to rely on contrasting the shapes of their hoods. Contrary to normal behaviour, this particular Slavonian has apparently been present at Pitsford for a long stretch of the Summer.

Related Species:

Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Podiceps
Subspecies: P. a. auritus, P. a. cornutus

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Very rare breeding Species (40 pairs) and Uncommon Winter Migrant (approx. 1100 birds)
 - Birds seen at Rutland Water and Pitsford Reservoir.

Further Notes: 
Birdforum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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