Historical information

The Great Crested Grebe is the largest bird in the Grebe family. It has a long neck with a black crown and orange/black "fans" on the sides of the face. This bird can be found in all Australian states and territories and typically resides in open bodies of fresh water.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum and the National Museum of Victoria, as well as individuals such amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

A Great Crested Grebe in a tall position standing on a wooden pedestal. It has a long neck and bill with coloured plumage. The crest is black with orange and black cheek "fans" on the sides of the face. The eyes are made of glass and are a red/black colour.

Inscriptions & markings

On paper tag:
"[Austra]lian... [G]rebe... [pa]ge, 42"