Great crested grebe

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The great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) belongs to the grebe family, Podicipedidae. The great crested grebe are the largest among the grebes. They are distributed in in Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia including Indian subcontinent. There are three recognized subspecies.

The subspecies P. c. cristatus is distributed in Europe and Asia including north India. P. c. infuscatus is the African subspecies and P. c. australis is the Australian subspecies.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized and evaluated these bird species and has listed them of "least concern".

The great crested grebe is a medium size bird measuring 40-60 cm length and weighing 500-1500 grams. These birds have a distinctive breeding plumage. Both males and females have similar plumage. The head has a black cap ending in an erectile crest. The juvenile birds have distinctive white and black stripes on the head.

They inhabit shallow water bodies with vegetation. They are excellent swimmers and divers. They dive to catch prey and feed on fish, crustaceans, molluscs and insects.
They breed during April to July. They begin to pair in the winter and there is distinct courtship display. The nest is made on the water edge or on floating platform. The nest usually contains 2-4 eggs.

Indian bird - Great crested grebe - Podiceps cristatus
Indian bird - Great crested grebe - Podiceps cristatus

Biological classification of Podiceps cristatus
Species:P. auritus
Binomial name:Podiceps auritus
Distribution: freshwater lakes across Europe, Asia, Canada and USA;
Feeding habits: fish, small crustaceans, aquatic insects and larvae;
IUCN status listing:Least Concern

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Image source:
Author: JJ Harrison | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic: Great crested grebe - Podiceps cristatus.
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