- Tachybaptus ruficollis
Includes: Tricoloured Grebe
25–29 cm (9¾-11½ in)
- upperparts dark greyish-brown
- underparts paler, greyer
- flanks tawny
- crown and hindneck blackish
- throat, ear-coverts, and sides and front of neck chestnut
- bill black with white tip
- gape patch yellow
- legs olive-green
Common and widespread in the Old World.
Breeds widely across Europe from Iberia, the British Isles and southern Scandinavia eastwards including parts of Turkey and the Middle East. Breeds across southern Asia including much of India and Indochina to China, Korea and Japan. Has a scattered distribution in the Philippines, Indonesia (rare breeder on Java and Bali) and New Guinea. In Africa breeds across the north-west and in the Nile Delta and widespread south of the Sahara absent only from the driest or most heavily forested areas.
Subspecies collaris, tricolor and vulcanorum may be split as "Tricolored Grebe", Tachybaptus tricolor.
Clements recognises the following subspecies :
- ruficollis: Europe east to the Ural Mountains, wintering south to Egypt; also breeds northwest Africa from Western Sahara east to Tunisia
- iraquensis: Iraq and south-west Iran. [indistinct white wing-bar]
- capensis: Africa, primarily south of the Sahara but breeding north to Egypt in the east; also the Comoros and Madagascar. [larger with more white in wing]
- albescens: from Caucasus east to eastern Kazakhstan, south to India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. [yellow/orange eyes]
- poggei: Japan, China, Taiwan to Malaysia
- philippensis: northern part of the Philippines
- cotabato: Mindanao,
- vulcanorum: Tricoloured Grebe". Islands from Java to Timor and the Kai Islands
- tricolor: "Tricoloured Grebe". Sulawesi, the Moluccas and northern New Guinea Islands
- collaris: Tricoloured Grebe". Northeast New Guinea to Bougainville (Solomon Islands)
Populations in Libya and the Nile Delta not assigned to subspecies
Well-vegetated ponds and lakes, mainly in lowland areas.
Diet includes small fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Its nest is a heap of vegetation in reed beds or other marginal vegetation. 4-6 whitish initially soon becoming stained eggs are laid and are incubated by both sexes for 19-25 days.
whit-whit and in breeding season utters a whinnying trill, sometimes in duet.
Little Grebe voice clip
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
- Birdforum thread discussing the taxonomy of Little Grebe
- Brazil, M.A. (1991) The Birds of Japan. Smithsonian Inst. Press.
- Llimona, F., del Hoyo, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52477 on 1 April 2019).
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Little Grebe. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 1 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Little_Grebe
GSearch checked for 2020 platform.