This stunning medium-sized grebe is called the Horned Grebe in America. It can be found breeding in Northern temperate Eurasia and North America. It nests inland in freshwater pools and small lakes with shallow water.
It feeds on fish and other small animals taken under water by diving. It propels itself by lobes on its feet - the alternative to webbed toes. In the winter it uses inshore waters of the sea or (normally brackish) coastal lakes penetrating as far South as the Mediterranean, China, California and the Gulf of Mexico.
The breeding male has a brilliant gold eye with lovely golden ear tufts and black cheek pieces. In flight (seldom taken) it has the typical grebe white in the wing - on the trailing edge - but also shows white on the inner part of the forewing. The winter plumage is typical of a grebe and the bill shape, thicker and stubbier, is the way to tell it apart from the very similar Black-necked Grebe (Eared in North America). Only about 60 pairs breed in Scotland.
A widely distributed medium-sized grebe: there are about 20 species worldwide.
The following Bird On! picture is available:
Slavonian Grebe (Watercolour by Robert Gillmor)
Length 350 mm Closed wing 142 mm Weight 400 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead