basic information

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Чомга | Үлкен сұқсыр

Aspara, Merke region, Zhambyl oblast
© Askar Isabekov


Breeding and migrating on lakes and reservoirs throughout Kazakhstan, including southern Altai (Markakol lake) but excluding arid Mangyshlak and deserts where reservoirs are absent. Wintering in small numbers in south Kazakhstan, in the lower reaches of Arys, Keles and on Syrdarya rivers. In mild years wintering on Aral Sea at Barsa-Kelmes and on Sorbulak lake where 12 birds recorded 15 December 2002.


Numerous and common breeding migrant. Inhabits large fresh or brackish lakes with reed-beds, reed mace, cane and other vegetation. Prefers lakes with fish, but sometimes occurs on water without fish . On large lakes (eg. on Alakol lake) often well away from reed-beds. Appears end February – early March in south Kazakhstan, or at end April – early May in the northern areas. Migrates singly, in pairs or in small flocks of 6-8 birds. Breeding in single pairs begins approximately one month after arrival. Nest built among floating vegetation mainly, but sometimes at fixed sites, from reed stems, leaves, reed mace, rush, algae and other material. Clutches of 3-7 eggs from end of April to mid-July. Broods from 3-4, less often 1 or 5-6 juveniles observed from end May through August – early September. Both parents care for chicks. Repeated breeding after loss of clutches is common. In autumn migrates mainly in small groups of up to 10-14 individuals but along northern coasts of Caspian Sea, huge numbers gather. Autumn dispersal begins in late July; migration occurs from end August through October - early November, when reservoirs freeze up.


Podiceps cristatus cristatus (Linnaeus, 1758)


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Podiceps cristatus cristatus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

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