Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus

    Description

    A delightfully elegant waterbird with ornate head plumes, which led to it 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.

    Photo ID?
    Habitat

    Lowland lakes, gravel pits, reservoirs and rivers. Also found along coasts in winter.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    In spring when males and females perform their 'penguin dance' - they face each other and rise up in unity. They make their nests by heaping up reed stems. The clutch consists of 3 or 4 white eggs. The stripy juveniles spend much of their time being carried on the back of the adults.

    UK Status

    Fairly frequent now in the UK with both the breeding and wintering populations slowly increasing

    VC55 Status

    Uncommon breeder but a common passage and winter visitor in Leicestershire and Rutland

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map