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Great Crested Grebe
Podiceps cristatus

Great Crested Grebes are one of the most attractive birds in Britain, but were very nearly wiped out in the late 1800s due to the hat trade as their plumes were considered very fashionable. At one point, there were only 46 pairs, but since they have recovered well. The chicks are black and white-striped (as seen below). In winter, they lose their crests and become duller before regaining their plumage in the spring, when they hold elaborate courting ceremonies involving dancing displays of head-shaking and offering of water weeds. They are the largest of the European grebes and also found in Asia, Africa and through to New Zealand. The Australasian population has been suggested a possible separate species as they do not lose the crest in winter among other small variations.
 

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

1: Radipole Lake RSPB, Dorset, 16/06/2006.