Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Scientific name: Tachybaptus ruficollis

Did you know: The Little Grebe, often called a ‘Dabchick’, is known for its remarkable diving ability, disappearing underwater in a flash to emerge far from danger!

What Do Little Grebes Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Little Grebes are charming, small water birds with a distinct appearance. In summer, they sport a chestnut throat and cheeks, with a pale patch at the bill’s base. 

Outside the breeding season, they have a more subdued look with buff plumage, but their ‘fluffy’ rear end is a year-round characteristic.

Differences Between Male And Female Little Grebes

Male and female Little Grebes are similar in plumage and size, though females can be slightly smaller. Both sexes undergo significant changes in appearance between seasons, making them a fascinating species to observe throughout the year.

What Do Little Grebes Eat?

These birds have a diet comprising mainly insects, larvae, and small fish. Their foraging strategy is as fascinating as their diet, skillfully diving and swimming underwater to catch their prey.

Where Do Little Grebes Live? (Including Migration Info)

Little Grebes are adaptable and can be found in a variety of wetland habitats. In the UK, they’re often seen in urban parks, farmland ponds, and more natural settings like lakes and marshes. 

While generally sedentary, some populations migrate short distances in winter, seeking open waters as their breeding habitats freeze.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Little Grebes)

Despite their size, Little Grebes are quite vocal, especially during the breeding season. They’re known for a distinctive whinnying trill that can be heard echoing across their watery habitats.

Fun Little Grebe Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Little Grebes are also known as ‘Dabchicks’.
  • They are expert divers and can disappear underwater quickly.
  • In winter, they can be found in coastal areas and estuaries.
  • Little Grebes build floating nests anchored to plants at the water’s edge.
  • They often carry their striped chicks on their backs while swimming.

Facts About The Little Grebe

Diet: Insects, larvae and small fish.
Bird Family: Grebes
Length: 25-29cm
Wingspan: 40-45cm
Weight: 100-140g
Scientific Name: Tachybaptus ruficollis

The Little Grebe Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December