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Great crested grebe (Photo: Saulius Karalius, Fund of Lithuanian Sea museum)
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus is a keen fisher with a torpedo-like body with webbed feet set almost at the very end of it, which gives it great diving and swimming abilities, but poor walking skills on land. Sometimes most of its body seems to be submerged and only its back and neck being above the water.
Its slender neck, pointed bill and elongated white and reddish brown feathers on its head and neck easily distinguish great Crested Grebe during the breeding season, but during winter its colourful “neckband” is changed to short white feathers while the bill becomes pinkish.
Most grebes do not migrate far; they stay in big ice-free inland water bodies, but some end up wintering in the Baltic Sea. The Great Crested Grebe prefers coastal waters less than 10 m deep, which suites best for their feeding.
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)