A crest is a “comb or tuft of feathers, fur, or skin on the head of a bird or other animal”. Birds use them for display purposes – they can be either recumbent (not noticeable when not erect) or recursive (noticeable in all states). Quite a few bird species have crests. In fact, crests occur in at least 20 of the 30 orders of extant birds, and in all major groups of passerines.

Crests are made of feathers. Their main use is to display – either to communicate with other members of the species or to scare other species, as a raised crest makes the bird appear larger.

So much for the educational part of the blog post.

For many species, their crest seems to be something not worth mentioning – for example, Eurasian Hoopoe, the Secretary, the Galah, the Northern Lapwing, or the Grey-crowned Crane. For others, they proudly make the crest part of their name – and are thus much easier to identify for me just by looking at the file names of my bird photos … and are the only species that really fit the blog title of “Crested and Proud”. Thus, let`s look at some of these.

Crested Myna (Shanghai, China)



Black Crested Bulbul (Nonggang, China)


Crested Barbet (Letaba, Bateleur, Kruger Park, South Africa)



Crested Bunting (Nonggang, China)



Crested Dove (somewhere in Australia)

Crested Finchbill (Tengchong, China)



Crested Fireback (Taman Negara, Malaysia)


Crested Francolin (Ndumo, South Africa)

Crested Goshawk (Shanghai, China)



Crested Honey-buzzard (Nanhui, China)



Crested Kingfisher (HongAn, China)


Crested Lark (Delhi, India)


Crested Serpent Eagle (Yunnan and Guangxi, China)


Grey Crested Tit (Wawushan, Mengbishan, China)


Crested Tit-Warbler (Mengbishan, China)



European Crested Tit (Visselhoevede, Germany)

Great Crested Grebe (Shanghai, China)


Long-Crested Eagle (Drakensberg, South Africa)

Greater Crested Tern (Nanhui, China)


Hair-crested Drongo (Nanhui, China)




Purple-crested Turaco (Mkuze, South Africa)





Sulfur-crested Cockatoo (Brisbane, Australia)



White Crested Helmet Shrike (Mkuze, South Africa)


White-crested Laughingthrush (Hongbenghe, China)


Comb-crested Jacana (Brisbane, Australia)

Goldcrest (Shanghai, China)



Firecrest (Bannetzer Moor, Germany)



Written by Kai Pflug
Kai Pflug has been living in Shanghai for 20 years. He only became interested in birds in China – so he is much more familiar with birds in China than with those in Germany. While he will only ever be an average birder, he aims to be a good bird photographer and has created a website with bird photos as proof. He hopes not too many clients of his consulting company read this blog, as they will doubt his dedication to providing consulting services related to China`s chemical industry. Whenever he wants to shock other birders, he tells them his (indoor) cats can distinguish several warblers by taste.