A Great Crested Grebe


Podiceps cristatus, Great Crested Grebe, is the largest member of the Podicipedidae (grebe) family. In the 19th century this species was nearly hunted to extinction, but thanks to conservation programs, populations have rebounded over the last century. The species is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Great crested grebes have an elaborate mating display, and partnered grebes typically have 1-2 offspring. Each grebe parent often takes care of a single offspring, showing them how to swim, dive and forage.

I found this grebe (pictured above) with its family in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Very similar to the description above, this family was formed of two parents and two juveniles. I stood and watched this family for nearly 45 minutes; the water was so clear that I could see the parents dive, swim and forage as I stood above them on a small bridge.

Photo and haiku: Steph Januchowski-Hartley