The great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is a member of the grebe family of water birds noted for its elaborate mating display of which the ‘weed dance’ is the spectacular finish. The great crested grebe (GCG) breeds in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes. It winters on freshwater lakes and resevoirs or the coast. GCG’s feed mainly on fish, but also small crustaceans, insects and small frogs. Like all grebes, it nests on the water’s edge, since its legs are set relatively far back and it is thus unable to walk very well. During territory establishment GCG’s tend to get very aggressive. During this time GCG’s are mostly busy fighting, fencing off intruders to their territory, displaying their impressive manes and copulating. The fights can get pretty bloody with sometimes death as a result. Due to their particular leg position they are able to jump out of the water which they do in an attempt to get the upper hand and take out their opponent. Such a moment was captured in this picture. After the territory fights are over usually two to four eggs are laid, and the fluffy, striped young grebes are often carried on the adult’s back after hatching as an anti-predator strategy. In a clutch of two or more hatchlings, male and female grebes will each identify their ‘favourits’ which they alone will care for and teach about grebe life. Usually, young grebes are fully capable of swimming and diving at hatching. The adults further fine tune these skills by carrying them on their back and diving, leaving the chicks to float on the surface: they then re-emerge a few feet away so that the chicks may swim back onto them.