Little Grebe Bird – Facts | Profile | Call | Chick

Little grebe

The little grebe, scientific name, Tachybaptus ruficollis, also called dabchick, is a member of the grebe household of water birds. In this article, I am going to talk about Little Grebe chick, call, feet, diet, images, facts, etc.

The genus identify is from Historical Greek takhus “quick” and bapto “to sink beneath”. The particular ruficollis is from Latin rufus “purple” and Trendy Latin -collis, “-necked”, itself derived from Latin collum “neck”.

Little Grebe Statistics

Length: 25-29cm
Wingspan: 42cm
Weight: 140g
Average lifespan: 10 years
Conservation status
Common. Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015).
When to see
January to December

At 23 to 29 cm (9.1 to 11.four in) in size, it’s the smallest European member of its household. It’s generally present in open our bodies of water throughout most of its vary.

Little Grebe Description

The little grebe is a small water chook with a pointed invoice. The grownup is unmistakable in summer, predominantly darkish above with its wealthy, rufous color neck, cheeks and flanks, and shiny yellow gape. The rufous is changed by an unclean brownish-gray in non-breeding and juvenile birds.

Juvenile birds have a yellow invoice with a small black tip, and black and white streaks on the cheeks and sides of the neck as seen under.

This yellow invoice darkens because of the age of the juvenile, finally turning black in maturity.

In winter, its dimension, buff plumage, with a darker again and cap, and “powder puff” rear finish allow straightforward identification of this species.

The little grebe’s breeding name, given singly or in duet, is a trilled repeated weet-weet-weet or wee-wee-wee which feels like a horse whinnying.

Little Grebe Diet

A variety of invertebrates (notably insect larvae), small fish, and mollusks. Largely, bugs, mollusks, tadpoles, and small fish at depths to 1m

Little Grebe Identification

The smallest of the grebes, Little Grebes have a really dumpy physique, a brief neck, tiny straight invoice, and no decorative head feathers giving a rounded form to the top.

They swim buoyantly with feathers usually fluffed out at the rear giving a powder-puff impact.

Inbreeding adults the throat and cheeks are a shiny chestnut, the fleshy hole patch takes on a pale color and the physique turns into a wealthy darkish brown above and paler under.

Out of the breeding season, birds are much less putting with the neck taking over a buff-brown color and the physique turning into uninteresting brown above and paler under.

Little Grebe Voice

Excessive-pitched calls with sulking birds usually positioned by a loud whining trill, which could be heard all year long.

Little grebe

Little Grebe Distribution

This chook breeds in small colonies in closely vegetated areas of freshwater lakes throughout Europe, a lot of Asia right down to New Guinea, and most of Africa.

Most birds transfer to extra open or coastal waters in winter, however, it’s only migratory in these components of its vary the place the waters freeze.

The exterior of the breeding season, strikes into extra open water, sometimes even showing on the coast in small bays.

Little Grebe Behavior

The little grebe is a superb swimmer and diver and pursues its fish and aquatic invertebrate prey underwater. It makes use of the vegetation skilfully as a hiding place.

Like all grebes, it nests on the water’s edge, since its legs are set very far again and it can’t stroll properly. Often 4 to seven eggs are laid.

When the grownup chook leaves the nest it normally takes care to cowl the eggs with weeds.

This makes it much less prone to be detected by predators. The younger go away the nest and may swim quickly after hatching, and chicks are sometimes carried on the backs of the swimming adults. In India, the species breeds in the course of the wet season.

Little Grebe Breeding

Age of first breeding: 1 year. Breeding websites are comparatively broadly scattered with barely larger densities within the northeast of Eire.

Pairs are extremely territorial, nesting totally on floating plant materials hidden in dense vegetation on the margins of shallow, freshwater rivers, streams, sloughs, and ponds.

They’re sometimes shy and skulking when breeding. Some pairs occupy breeding territories all through the years, whereas at some websites birds disperse from their inland breeding websites over the winter.


Little Grebes prolong their wintering habitat to incorporate ephemeral wetlands and are sometimes encountered on sheltered coasts, estuaries, and coastal lakes and lagoons right now of the 12 months.

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