Bill longer than the head, reddish, the tip white; distance from the nostrils to the tip about eighteen lines.
P. cristatus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 717. Crested Grebe, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. II. p. 394. pl. 73. Great Crested Grebe, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. II. p. 153.
Entire length twenty-one inches: length of the bill, from the forehead, two inches.
(Adult in perfect plumage). Streak above the eye, cheeks, and throat, white: crown of the head, occipital crest, and a large ruff of feathers standing out round the neck, glossy black, passing into reddish yellow on the sides of the head: fore part of the neck, and all the under parts of the body, silvery white: hind part of the neck, back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, dusky brown: secondaries pure white, forming an oblique bar across the wings: naked space between the bill and the eye red: bill reddish, dusky brown on the ridge, the tip grayish white: irides crimson red: legs dusky; internally yellowish white. (From two to three years of age). "Occipital crest very short, edged with white; face white, without the reddish tinge; the feathers of the ruff very short; a dusky streak passing from the bill beneath the eyes, and reaching to the occiput. (Young be/ore the age of two years). No occipital crest or ruff round the neck: forehead and face white; these parts as well as the upper part of the neck with zigzag streaks of dusky brown disposed in every direction: irides pale yellow. The young of the year before the first moult have the head and upper part of the neck deep brown." Temm. (Egg). White: long. diam. two inches two lines; trans, diam. one inch six lines.
Not an uncommon species, remaining with us the whole year. Frequents lakes and extensive tracts of fen; during severe weather in Winter, the sea-coast and the estuaries of large rivers. Is said to breed in the meres of Shropshire and Cheshire, and also in Lincolnshire. Makes a large floating nest of aquatic plants. Eggs four in number. Food, principally fish. Dives well, and is rarely seen on land. Obs. The Tippet Grebe of Pennant (Colymbus Urinator, Linn). is this species in its immature state.