Australasian Grebe

Images ©:
Bob Winters | Bob Winters

Tachybaptus novaehollandiae


Small waterbird, up to 27 cm. Breeding plumage: glossy-black head and rich chestnut facial stripe which extends from just behind the eye through to the base of the neck. Eye becomes darker and the patch of skin at the base of the bill becomes pale yellow and more noticeable.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Biology

Breeding season: September to January. Clutch size is four to five. Nest is a floating mound of vegetation, normally anchored to a submerged branch or reed.

Distinctive Markings

Non-breeding plumage: dark grey-brown above, mostly silver-grey below and white oval patch of bare skin at the base of the bill.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Species
novaehollandiae

Grebes eat their own feathers and feed them to their young to prevent injury when swallowing fish bones. This behaviour is thought to help prevent injury from any sharp fish bones that are swallowed.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Carnivore. Feeds on small fish and water insects.

Habitat

Found in freshwater wetlands and dams.

Native Status
Native to Australia