Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Podicipediformes Family: Podicipedidae
Number in Britain: 4600 Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Winter Visitor
Subspecies: cristatus recorded in Britain (of 3 subsp. in the world)
Length: 48 cm Wingspan: 88 cm Weight: M: 1.1 kg   F: 910 g    
Scientific name from: L.: podex=anus + pes=foot and L.: crista=crest
World Distribution: Europe, n&c Asia, n Africa, local in e&s Africa, Australia and New Zealand
Habitat: Reed-bordered lakes
Diet: Mostly fish, some aquatic invertebrates esp in summer
TitBit: Their skin, with its covering of short, dense waterproof feathers, was used a substitute for fur and they were persecuted heavily.  
Identification Tips:
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Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 4600 Pairs in 2009
    Winter: 19 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: cristatus GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Lakes
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
European Population Size:
    Summer: 210 to 300 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 56 x 37 mm Egg Weight: 39.5 g (of which 9 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 119
Clutch Size: 3 - 4 eggs
Incubation: 27- 29 days   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 71 - 79days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1(2)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 2 years Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 11 years 10 months 5 days (set in 1978)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: G or H*
Wing Length Adult: 190.7 ± 8.5 Range 180 - 202 mm, N =21
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Gobhachan-mòr Welsh: Gwyach Gopog
Danish: Toppet lappedykker Dutch: Fuut
Finnish: Silkkiuikku French: Grèbe huppé
German: Haubentaucher Hungarian: Búbos vöcsök
Icelandic: Toppgoði Irish: Foitheach Mór
Italian: Svasso meggiore Norwegian: Toppdykker
Polish: Perkoz dwuczuby Portuguese: Mergulhão-de-crista
Spanish: Somormujo lavanco Swedish: Skäggdopping
Local Names: Satin Bird, Gaunt

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Ogilvie, M. 2003 Grebes of the world Bruce Coleman Books, Uxbridge [598.43 OGI]
   Fjeldsa, J. 2005 The Grebes Oxford University Press [598.43 FJE]
   Simmons, K.E.L. 1989 The Great Crested Grebe Shire Publications, Princes Risborough [Jour: S]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides