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Least Grebe - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Short-billed Grebe

Subspecies brachypterus
Photo © by bobsofpa
Sabal Palm Sanctuary, Texas, USA, 25 April 2005
Tachybaptus dominicus


Subspecies brachyrhynchus
Photo © by Francisco Paludo
Parque Estadual Espigão Alto, Barracão, RS, Brazil, 24 December 2016

L. 23-26cm (9-10¼ in))

  • Dark brownish-grey
  • Greenish gloss above
  • Buffy breast and flanks with heavy dark barring
  • White belly and undertail
  • Slay-trey head and neck
  • Black throat, chin, and crown
  • Yellow to orange iris
  • Black bill with small white tip
  • Brownish-olive legs


United States, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and southern Brazil



Subspecies eisenmanni
Photo © by Jones Stanley Jones
Laguna El Oconal, Villa Rica, Oxapampa, Peru, 17 August 2017

Five subspecies recognized[1]:

  • T. d. brachypterus from south Texas to west-central Mexico and Panama
  • T. d. bangsi in western Mexico (southern half of Baja California and southern Sonora)
  • T. d. dominicus on Cozumel Island, Bahamas, Greater Antilles and Virgin Islands
  • T. d. eisenmanni on the coast of Ecuador; populations of northwestern Peru presumably also this subspecies
  • T. d. brachyrhynchus in tropical northern South America to south Brazil and north Argentina


Freshwater ponds, slow-flowing rivers and swamps.



The nest is a heap of rotting vegetation anchored to submerged plants in reedbeds or other marginal vegetation. 4-6 white eggs are laid and are incubated by both sexes for 21 days. Young tended by both sexes. Double-brooded, possibly treble-brooded at times.


Includes small fish and aquatic invertebrates.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.