/ Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes
/ Podicipedidae / Podiceps
||Fuut (Dutch), Grèbe huppé
(French), Haubentaucher (German), Somormujo lavanco (Spanish), Skäggdopping (Swedish).
Crested Grebe, Southern Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus australis).
- Adult: Eye scarlet red with narrow
inner rim orange, Bill grey sides, culmen
dark horn, legs olive-green to green-yellow. Crown
glossy black, short crest elongated into two tufts at sides of nape.
Face white to pale buff, chin white, sides of upper neck chestnut, with
black tips, upper hindneck glossy black, lower hindneck grey, upperparts brown-tinged
black with grey feather edges. Flanks rufous and dusky
mixed, foreneck and underparts white, tailtuft dorsally black, ventrally
white and buff. Wings primaries
dark brown-grey, secondaries
white with grown-grey to brown-black pewter webs,
brown-grey, with marginal coverts
white and inner webs
- Juvenile: Eye orange, bill paler sides
than adult, legs dark brown, mottled. Crown
dark grey, upperparts more grey than breeding adults,
underparts white, sides of head retain patterning of chicks.
- Chick: striped blackish and pale, underparts paler. Eye
pale yellow, bill reddish base, black bar, white tip, legs slate
grey, toe lobes pink edged.
|Range and Habitat
- Podiceps cristatus cristatus Palearctic,
British Isles and southern Scandinavia eastwards.
- Podiceps cristatus infuscatus eastern, southern
and west-central Africa: scattered areas
- Podiceps cristatus australis South-western and
south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand (South Island).
In the London Area, a
"common breeding resident and winter visitor." Found
scattered over a variety of sites, including in on the River Thames, at
Buckingham Palace, breeding and wintering in Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens
Accidental to Iceland, Jordan, Azores.
Movements: Northern populations in particular migratory
and dispersive, including moving to large water areas to moult
and wintering south to Mediterranean and east to India, Myanmar, China.
Habitat: fresh or brackish
water with sizeable areas of open water 0.5-5.0m deep for foraging, and fringed with
vegetation. Disperse to coasts, estuaries and large lakes and reservoirs outside breeding
B1, B2, B19
- Food: Mainly fish, also insects, crustaceans, molluscs,
amphibians. Insects and insect larvae, also molluscs, crustaceans, amphibians, small fish.
- Feeding: Dive for food, also (less frequently) swimming
with head submerged, and taking food from vegetation.
- Breeding: Seasonal monogamous
pair bond. Europe January to September, mainly April to June. Breed in tropical Africa all
months (peak in or after rains)Australasia peak breeding season from November to March. Nests
solitary, dispersed or in loose colonies, built by both sexes, from lake bottom or
floating attached to vegetation, a platform of aquatic plants well concealed in
vegetation. Lay 1-7 eggs (average 3-5), usually one brood,
25-31 days incubation by both parents, hatching asynchronous,
Both parents tend young, carried on back of one while other brings food (may be mainly
insects initially but otherwise whole fish). Broods
divided, part with each parent, one chick favoured particularly by each, after 4-6 weeks.
Chicks feeding themselves by 8 weeks, but dependent to 10 weeks minimum, usually 13 weeks,
favoured chicks fed longer. Fledging
71-79 days, sexual maturity two occasionally one year.
- Breeding behaviour: Seasonal monogamous
pair. Territorial while breeding.
- Social behaviour: Often solitary outside breeding
season, may be seen in temporary groups of upped 100 individuals.
Organisations (UK Contacts):
Electronic Library (further reading):