The plight of the great crested grebe was one of the triggers for the birth of the modern conservation movement. Pairs may nest singly or in loose colonies. Your support makes a real difference. Females usually lay two eggs and incubate them about 25-31 days. Chicks are precocial and are capable of swimming and diving almost at hatching. There are many ways you can help us help our native birds. With its spiky, black crest and chestnut mane, the Great Crested Grebe is unmistakable. Its scientific name comes from Latin: the genus name Podiceps is from podicis, "vent" and pes, "foot", and is a reference to the placement of a grebe's legs towards the rear of its body; the species name, cristatus, means "crested". Join as a member, volunteer, make a donation or a bequest. The graceful great crested grebe is a familiar sight on our lakes and reservoirs, and is well-known for its elaborate courtship dance, during which it rises vertically out of the water and shakes its head. BirdLife Australia has a long and proud history of excellence in publishing. On Wednesday night, our National Public Affairs Manager @Twitchathon appeared on… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…, 2020 #AussieBirdCount results! It is resident in the milder west of its range, but migrates from the colder regions. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was set up to help protect this species, which is again a common sight. This species was hunted almost to extinction in the United Kingdom in the 19th century for its head plumes, which were used to decorate hats and ladies' undergarments. We always need more citizen scientists. Great crested grebe. Find places to watch birds in their native habitat. It has a long neck and head with a distinctive black double crest. Breeding plumage has beautiful tawny cheeks and black crests (often held flat). Discover and identify the urban birds in your backyard. The great crested grebe was culled in great numbers in the 19th century for its spectacular plumage, which was used as an alternative to fur in ladies’ clothing. The Great Crested Grebe has dark brown wings, satin white underparts, a black crown, dark olive-green feet and, during flight, prominent white patches are visible on its wings. Like all grebes, it nests on the water's edge, since its legs are set relatively far back and it is thus unable to walk very well. Although birds are usually quite easy to see, often they are more difficult to identify. The great crested grebe (Podiceps Cristatus) is distinctive in flight with its legs trailing stiffly behind and its neck held stretched forward and slightly lowered (unlike the heron, which holds its neck awkwardly folded while flying). It is found in coastal Queensland, throughout New South Wales, coastal South Australia, coastal and south-west Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. The adults are unmistakable in summer with head and neck decorations. Great Crested Grebe may not be confused with the red-necked grebe, a very rare visitor to eastern England in winter only, with a shorter russet-brown neck (grey-brown in winter) and yellow bill. Explore, learn, discover and enjoy Australia’s most comprehensive bird resource. The great crested grebe is the largest member of the grebe family found in the Old World, with some larger species residing in the Americas. Rainbow lorikeets at #1 and Noisy Miners, Magpies, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Gal… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…, @Ozesurfer Noisy Miners are indeed natives - but due to their aggressive nature and propensity to drive away other… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…. Successful great crested grebe couples then nest on a rough raft of weeds either resting on the shallow bottom of the water or actually floating and anchored to underwater weeds, raising a brood of between three and six eggs a year. These elegant birds have an elaborate mating display, in which pairs raise and shake their head plumes, approaching each other with weed in their bills, they then rise up breast to breast in the water and turn their heads from side to side. Join our community of dedicated volunteers that help monitor and collect important data on Australia’s birds. These birds are resident in the milder west of their range but migrate from the colder regions. Search our listing to find the next opportunity to see your favourite birds nearby and interstate. The subspecies P. c. cristatus is found across Europe and east across the Palearctic. The young are distinctive because their heads are striped black and white. In a clutch of two or more hatchlings, each parent will identify their 'favourites', which they alone will care for and teach. When diving underwater, this grebe is propelled by its feet alone. The great crested grebe has an elaborate mating display. BirdLife Australia is dedicated to creating a bright future for Australia’s birds. By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901. Current threats to Great crested grebes include habitat loss due to urban development, modification of lakes, oil spills, and avian influenza. Great crested grebes breed in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes, small pools, slow-flowing rivers, artificial water bodies, swamps, bays, estuaries, and lagoons. Although the species sometimes appears ungainly, Great Crested Grebes perform elaborate courtship displays, which include activities such as the ‘weed dance’ and the elegant ‘penguin dance’. The great crested grebe breeds in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes. During the winter months, these birds are usually solitary but may sometimes gather in colonies of up to 5,000 individuals. We are also the meeting ground for everyone with an interest in birds from the curious backyard observer to the dedicated research scientist. The H.L. Great crested grebes are found across Europe and Asia, parts of southern and eastern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The adults teach these skills to their young by carrying them on their back and diving, leaving the chicks to float on the surface; they then re-emerge a few feet away so that the chicks may swim back onto them. Unusually, young grebes are capable of swimming and diving almost at hatching. Great crested grebes eat their feathers; it is suggested that they do so to create pellets that can be ejected in order to get rid of parasites in the gastric system. We hold regular events and activities throughout the year and some have been taking place for decades. The great crested grebe and its behaviour was the subject of one of the landmark publications in avian ethology: Julian Huxley's 1914 paper on The Courtship‐habits of the Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus). Usually two eggs are laid, and the fluffy, striped young grebes are often carried on the adult's back. Its near-extinction was the initial impetus for setting up the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the RSPB, in 1889. Great crested grebes are diurnal birds and spend their day foraging, cleaning their plumage and resting. They are excellent swimmers and divers, and pursue their prey underwater; they also may feed by submerging only their head. Large, elegant, and long-necked grebe. The Great Crested Grebe feeds on fish, caught by diving in clear water. Registered charity number 207238. Populations in Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are mainly sedentary. Fairly common on lakes, reservoirs, and along larger rivers, mainly with bordering reeds where it builds a floating nest platform. They measure 46–51 cm (18–20 in) long with a 59–73 cm (23–29 in) wingspan and weigh 0.9 to 1.5 kg (2.0 to 3.3 lb). Get involved by helping us gather and share information about your local birdlife. According to the IUCN Red List, the total Great crested grebe population size is around 915,000-1,400,000 individuals. The Great Crested Grebe is a medium to large aquatic bird, and is the largest of the grebes. In a clutch of two or more hatchlings, male and female grebes will each identify their 'favourites', which they alone will care for and teach.