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Dieren en planten

Fish   Birds   Grebes   Great Crested Grebe   Black-necked Grebe   Little grebe   Bird Protection   Freshwater fish   Swimming birds   

Great crested grebe


46-51 centimeters
85-90 centimeters wingspan

color (adults):

summer: brown-red and black head feathers, grayish back, white neck and belly
winter: totally gray-white


fish, crustaceans, water insects, small frogs

life span:

approximately age 20


used to be hunted for its skin, used as fur

Dutch status:

nesting bird, winter guest, migratory




maturity 2 years
number of eggs: 3-4
number of nests per year: sometimes 2

  • Dut: Fuut
  • Eng: Great Crested Grebe
  • Fre: Grèbe huppé
  • Ger: Haubentaucher
  • Dan: Toppet Lappedykker
  • Nor: Toppdykker
  • Fries: Hjerringslynder
  • Ital: Svasso maggiore
  • Lat: Podiceps cristatus
Great crested grebe, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

Great crested grebe

Great crested grebes are known for their elaborate mating dance. They stretch their neck towards each other, rising out of the water breast to breast. In the spring, you often see them swimming with their young on their backs. When sensing danger, great crested grebes dive underwater, with the chicks clinging to their back.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Distribution of the great crested grebe, Ecomare
    Source: Important bird areas for seabirds in the North Sea.

    The great crested grebe is found the whole year round in the Netherlands. Those which breed further north arrive here in early autumn and depart in early spring for their breeding grounds. During the winter, they often form large groups on lakes, canals, ditches, ponds and at sea. The delta region serves as a major winter home for the great crested grebe, when several thousand birds can be found foraging. This is ten times more than in the nesting season.
    In the fall, great crested grebes gather in the IJsselmeer to molt, where they replace all of their flight feathers simultaneously. During this period, they are unable to fly.

  • Protection
    • Monitoring: Network Ecological Monitoring
    • National legislation: Flora and Fauna Regulation
    • European Agreement: Bird Directive
    • International: Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), Bern Convention