Courting pair of great crested grebes on a lake


Grebes are an order and family of freshwater diving birds with 20 living species. Until recently there were 22, but the flightless Columbian and Atitlan grebes have become extinct in the last few decades. Grebes are famed for their elaborate courtship displays, in which the male and female mirror each other's movements. In some species the pair rear up out of the water and run along its surface. The pair bond may only last for a single breeding season.

Scientific name: Podicipedidae

Rank: Family


Map showing the distribution of the Grebes taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Grebes can be found in a number of locations including: Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Explore this group


The following habitats are found across the Grebes distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Podicipediformes
  6. Grebes

Elsewhere on the BBC