Thursday, 27 September 2012

Birds in Focus - Grebes

There are five Grebes that can be found in the UK during the Autumn and Winter:

But which Grebe is which?
The two most common grebes are the Great Crest Grebe and the Little Grebe. It shouldn't really be possible to confuse these two birds, being at opposite ends of the size scale and quite different in shape and colour. However, the other three Grebes are a lot scarcer and a little more difficult to distinguish, especially when in winter plumage and from a distance.

The two smaller Grebes (Little and Black-necked) have characteristic 'powder puff' rear ends, whereas the other three are more sleek at the rear. The two largest Grebes (Great Crested and Red-necked) have dagger-like bills.  In winter plumage we should concentrate on:
  1. Bill shape and colour / pattern
  2. Head shape and colour / pattern

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