Grebes are primarily fish-eaters and the little grebe is no exception, but as it takes smaller fish than others in its family, they can establish themselves on ponds that are too small to accommodate big fish. This gives them a greater choice of habitat and means the little grebe has a more widespread distribution in the UK. However, they are quite shy birds and will often lurk within easy reach of cover along the margins of the water and will dive or disappear amongst the reeds when disturbed. The usual clutch consists of between four and six eggs, laid in April in a floating nest of vegetation anchored to submerged water plants. Young grebes are frequently carried on the adult birds' backs and are fed with small fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Grebes often give feathers to their chicks, which the young birds swallow in order to form a protective lining to their stomachs. This avoids the possibility of the stomach being damaged by the bones of their fish meals.
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