basic information

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus (Linnaeus, 1758)


Kulundinskoe lake, Altai region
© Alexey Gribkov


The biggest among our grebes, Mallard-sized but more slender. In spring and early simmer, differs from Red-necked Grebe with pufy collar and "eyes", and in autumn - with pure white foreneck, white band above eye, dark lores, reddish bill. Young keep bands on head to autumn; the bands go to neck (controversially to Red-necked Grebe). Iris red in adults and pink in jveniles. All ages have white wing speculum and white spot on forewing joining with the speculum in the wing base. Weight 570-1500 gr, length 46-51 cm, wing 16.8-20.9, wingspan 85-95.//


In Siberia, breeds in steppe, forest-steppe, and south of forest zone. Distribution is very patchy.//


Locally common breeding migrant. Inhabits large fresh or brackish lakes with reed-beds, reed mace, cane and other vegetation. Prefers lakes with fish, but sometimes occurs on water without fish . On large lakes often well away from reed-beds. Appears March - early April in southern areas, or end April – May in the northern areas. Migrates singly, in pairs or in small flocks of 6-8 birds. Breeding in single pairs begins approximately one month after arrival. Nest built among floating vegetation mainly, but sometimes at fixed sites, from reed stems, leaves, reed mace, rush, algae and other material. Clutches of 3-7 eggs from end of April to mid-July. Broods from 3-4, less often 1 or 5-6 juveniles observed from end May through August – early September. Both parents care for chicks. Repeated breeding after loss of clutches is common. In autumn migrates mainly in small groups of up to 10-14 individuals. Autumn dispersal begins in late July; migration occurs from end August through October - early November, when reservoirs freeze up.//


В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Сибири". Москва-Екатеринбург, Изд-во "Кабинетный ученый", 2014.


other names

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unidentified birds


Андрей Баздырев: Могильник вроде бы (полувзрослый)


Андрей Баздырев: Плешанка


Николай Балацкий: Чекан сибирский или толстоклювый.

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