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Australasian Grebe (in breeding plumage)

Tachybaptus novaehollandiae novaehollandiae


The Australasian grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) is a small waterbird common on fresh water lakes and rivers in greater Australia, New Zealand, and on nearby Pacific islands. At 25–27 cm (9.8–10.6 in) in length, it is one of the smallest members of the grebe family. There are six subspecies of Tachybaptus novaehollandiae. The bird in this spotting is in breeding plumage (both links provide plenty of information on this). Grebes are excellent swimmers and divers, and usually dive immediately when alarmed. Food consists mainly of small fish and water insects that are caught during deep underwater dives, but some prey is also taken on the surface. An interesting fact: Grebes eat their own feathers and feed them to their young to prevent injury when swallowing fish bones.


This freshwater pond was situated in remnant eucalyptus woodland on the campus of Griffith University, Mt. Gravatt, which is adjacent to the Mt. Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Despite the drought, water quality appeared clean and the pond looked healthy. Other waterbirds were also present.


I don't have a DSLR with a Hubble Telescope lens, so many bird species have eluded me, particular the little grebes. They are usually very shy birds, and in my photos they end up being nothing more than a dot. Needless to say, I was happy to find this little fellow and get a photo that was better than just a dot.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Lat: -27.54, Long: 153.06

Spotted on Jan 5, 2020
Submitted on Feb 9, 2020

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little grebe Tachybaptus ruficolis 小鸊鵜 Least Grebe Little Grebe

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