Friday, June 15, 2012

Great Crested Grebe

The great crested grebe 
is found in most of Europe and central Asia and winters in parts of southern Asia. Colonies can also be found in Africa, southern Australia and New Zealand. It has a long neck, long bill, and head-plumes which are reddish-orange with black tips. 

It also has an erectile black crown. 
It is the largest grebe in Europe and was nearly wiped out in Great Britain during the Victorian era for its head plume feathers which were used to decorate hats and ladies undergarments. It is an excellent swimmer and diver and pursues fish underwater. It also eats crustaceans, insects and frogs (the one below is eating a crayfish). 
It nests at water's edge because it can't walk very well. 
I saw these birds at Kinderdijk, Netherlands. One that I watched for awhile, would dive for great lengths of time, like 30 seconds, then re-emerge at some distance from where it went under. 

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