Similar in size to a small duck. At the top of the head it has two fiery gold tufts seen from far which contrast with black cheeks to which it owes its name. The picture is completed by red, hypnotic eyes.
During a breeding season horned grebes are found by the freshwater reservoirs in forests of the warm temperature zone and taiga. As in the case of the grebe family, they can swim and dive very well thanks to the legs mounted at the end of the trunk along with legs and finger joints that can be moved on multiple planes. Grebes do not have an interdigital webbing between the toes – their toes are widely lobed. It is very difficult for them to move on the land and taking off is virtually impossible.
Like all grebes, horned grebes build a heavily waterlogged floating nest anchored to coastal vegetation.
Horned grebes virtually do not hatch here. They can only be seen during migration - mostly at the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea. Birds could not cope with continuous traffic on lakes, development of coasts and pollution. Their nearest breeding sites are located in Lithuania and Belarus.
Author: Jacek Karczewski Source: Birds of Poland