Two grebes a-grebing

Montage of a pair of displaying Great Crested Grebes

A lot of the Great Crested Grebe’s courtship display is about strengthening the pair bond. And there are a number of distinct behaviours.

The head-shaking display is probably the most familiar:

  • the head plumage is fanned into a ruff 
  • the birds then face each other and shake their heads from side to side

This display is mainly seen  in the early stages of courtship - usually performed when the pair is reunited after a period of separation. This suggests that it is used as a greeting and for reinforcement.

The most elaborate of the great-crested grebe’s displays is the ‘weed ceremony’ (left middle in the montage)
  • takes place just before the pair begin to build their nest platform. 
  • as part of this ceremony the two birds make a slow and deliberate dive to collect weed - before returning to the water’s surface and swimming towards each other, their heads held low to the surface
  • as they meet, the birds rise from the horizontal to adopt a rigid vertical posture, which they hold by paddling their webbed feet rapidly, treading the water. 

But what would the displaying grebes montage look like as wallpaper - is the question on absolutely no one's lips this - plus my one of my lichen photos

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  1. As you said... A much under-appreciated bird... Where can I order this wallpaper... I'll need 6 rolls for my lounge feature wall

    1. You can get it from my 'Everything Is Photoshopped' emporium

  2. Those Grebes are just way too busy for my eyes 👀


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