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Belgian photographer David Pattyn has been photographing waterbirds for years, with a particular attraction towards grebes.
As birds that rarely fly, and hardly ever step foot on land, photographing grebes means getting in the water with them. Pattyn’s rare and intimate photographs reveal their private world as they see it, at water level.

Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) courtship, this animal was trying to impress another male, Oisterwijk, The Netherlands, April - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) courtship, this animal was trying to impress another male, Oisterwijk, The Netherlands, April
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) courting pair. The Netherlands.May 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) courting pair. The Netherlands.May 2014
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' during the courting or mating season. The birds offer each other plant material as a present to confirm their bond. The Neth... - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' during the courting or mating season. The birds offer each other plant material as a present to confirm their bond. The Neth...
Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) courtship dance just after they finished mating, both have their crests erect in excitement, La Dombes area, France, April - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) courtship dance just after they finished mating, both have their crests erect in excitement, La Dombes area, France, April
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. The Netherlands. April.
Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) two males fighitng for the right to mate at a particular mating spot, La Dombes lake area, France, June - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) two males fighitng for the right to mate at a particular mating spot, La Dombes lake area, France, June
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) performing courtship dance with one emerging from water right in front of the other which has fluffed up its feathers. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) performing courtship dance with one emerging from water right in front of the other which has fluffed up its feathers. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their courtship dance in which they mimic each other's movements. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male and female perform courtship dance, La Dombes area, France, June - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male and female perform courtship dance, La Dombes area, France, June
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' during the courting or mating season. The birds offer each other plant material as a present to confirm their bond. The Neth... - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' during the courting or mating season. The birds offer each other plant material as a present to confirm their bond. The Neth...
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' during the courting or mating season. The birds offer each other plant material as a present to confirm their bond. The Neth... - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' during the courting or mating season. The birds offer each other plant material as a present to confirm their bond. The Neth...
Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) performing courtship dance and exchanging weed as part of ritual, La Dombes area, France, June - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) performing courtship dance and exchanging weed as part of ritual, La Dombes area, France, June
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' in which they take a vertical position in front of each other and offer plant material to each other. The Netherlands. March... - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair performing their 'weed dance' in which they take a vertical position in front of each other and offer plant material to each other. The Netherlands. March...
Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) courtship dance in between vegetation just after sunset, La Dombes area, France, April - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) courtship dance in between vegetation just after sunset, La Dombes area, France, April
Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male dancing on top of the female after mating, she is submerged, La Dombes area, France, June - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male dancing on top of the female after mating, she is submerged, La Dombes area, France, June
Great crested grebes (podiceps cristatus) pair mating on a kind of 'lek' the favourite place for lots of grebes to mate on this lake, La Dombes lake area, France, June. Second place in the Species Sto... - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebes (podiceps cristatus) pair mating on a kind of 'lek' the favourite place for lots of grebes to mate on this lake, La Dombes lake area, France, June. Second place in the Species Sto...
Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male dancing on top of the female after mating, she is submerged, La Dombes area, France, June - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male dancing on top of the female after mating, she is submerged, La Dombes area, France, June
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) close-up of an adult with two young chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) close-up of an adult with two young chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) close-up of an adult with two young chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) close-up of an adult with two young chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) adult with a young chick on the back and another chick in the water. The Netherlands.June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) adult with a young chick on the back and another chick in the water. The Netherlands.June 2014
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with fish to feed one of its chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with fish to feed one of its chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair with chicks on the back of one begging for food, The Netherlands. June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair with chicks on the back of one begging for food, The Netherlands. June 2014
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with two young chicks on her back. La Dombes lake area, France, July. - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with two young chicks on her back. La Dombes lake area, France, July.
Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) young stretching its wings, La Dombes area, France, June - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) young stretching its wings, La Dombes area, France, June
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) stretching its wings. The Netherlands. June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) stretching its wings. The Netherlands. June 2014
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) adult running over the water surface during the courtship. The Netherlands. April 2014.Second place in the Species Story category of the Terre Sauvage Nature I... - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) adult running over the water surface during the courtship. The Netherlands. April 2014.Second place in the Species Story category of the Terre Sauvage Nature I...
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) close-up of an adult with two young chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) close-up of an adult with two young chicks. The Netherlands. June 2014
Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) feeding young chicks on the back of other parent, La Dombes area, France, July - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) feeding young chicks on the back of other parent, La Dombes area, France, July
Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) fleeing from a competitor, Trebon lake area, Czech Republic, May - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) fleeing from a competitor, Trebon lake area, Czech Republic, May
Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) courtship dance in the mist, Trebon area, Czech Republic, May - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great Crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) courtship dance in the mist, Trebon area, Czech Republic, May
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) fluffing up its feathers, during courtship dance, whilst its mate dives underwater, The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) fluffing up its feathers, during courtship dance, whilst its mate dives underwater, The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male tries to look as beautiful and impressive as possible. he pumps up his head and holds the wings in a circle to look as good as possible, during mating sea... - David Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) male tries to look as beautiful and impressive as possible. he pumps up his head and holds the wings in a circle to look as good as possible, during mating sea...
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair swimming fast and mimicking each other's head shaking during the courtship dance. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair swimming fast and mimicking each other's head shaking during the courtship dance. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair wimming very fast next to each other and shaking their heads as a part of their courtship dance. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pair wimming very fast next to each other and shaking their heads as a part of their courtship dance. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. Head low over the water and crest erected. The Netherlands. March 2013 - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. Head low over the water and crest erected. The Netherlands. March 2013
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. Head low over the water and crest erected. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. Head low over the water and crest erected. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. Head low over the water and crest erected. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in a threathening posture trying to intimidate another grebe in a territorial dispute. Head low over the water and crest erected. The Netherlands. April.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with discarded fishing net around the neck. The Netherlands. April. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with discarded fishing net around the neck. The Netherlands. April.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) female in breeding plumage with Common or Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris) as prey. Close-up portrait. The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) female in breeding plumage with Common or Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris) as prey. Close-up portrait. The Netherlands, June.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) four chicks age 6 days, The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) four chicks age 6 days, The Netherlands, June.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) adult carrying chicks age 6 days on its back to keep them warm, The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) adult carrying chicks age 6 days on its back to keep them warm, The Netherlands, June.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) adult with 6 day chick begging to be fed. The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) adult with 6 day chick begging to be fed. The Netherlands, June.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) female feeding a larva to chick age 7 days, The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) female feeding a larva to chick age 7 days, The Netherlands, June.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) female feeding its chicks age 7 days, The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) female feeding its chicks age 7 days, The Netherlands, June.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) chick age 7 days trying to swallow food, The Netherlands, June. - David  Pattyn
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David Pattyn / Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) chick age 7 days trying to swallow food, The Netherlands, June.
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