Little Grebe

Little Grebe found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.

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Scientific Name : Tachybaptus ruficollis
Classification :
Kingdom             : Animalia
Phylum                : Chordata
Class                     : Aves
Order                    : Podicipediformes
Family                  : Podicipedidae
Genus                   : Tachybaptus
  : T. ruficollis

How do I identify this bird :
  • The Little Grebe is a small, plump bird which is about 25-29 cms long.
  • It has silky white underparts often with puffed up rear end.
  • It has no tail.
  • It has a short pointed bill.
  • In breeding plumage it has rufous cheeks and neck -sides, and yellow patch at base of bill.
  • In non-breeding plumage it has brownish-buff cheeks and flanks.
  • Juvenile is similar to non-breeding but has brown stripes across cheeks.
  • The little grebe is an excellent swimmer and diver.
  • It can vanish beneath the surface very, very quickly leaving only a very small ripple behind.
  • It looks like a lazy bird but it can fly strongly over long distances with its small wings.  Especially when he is forced by drought to move elsewhere.
Where can you find this bird :
  • You can find them near DPS Tapi in village ponds, lakes and pools created by rain.
  • This bird breeds in small colonies in heavily vegetated areas of freshwater lakes.
  • Most birds move to more open or coastal waters in winter.
  • Outside of breeding season, it moves into more open water, occasionally even appearing on the coast in small bays.
  • It goes behind fish, larvae, tadpoles, frogs , crustaceans etc., underwater  and feeds on them.
  • It uses the vegetation skilfully as a hiding place.
  • It nests at the water’s edge, since its legs are set very far back and it cannot walk well.
  • Usually four to seven eggs are laid.
  • When the adult bird leaves the nest it usually takes care to cover the eggs with weeds. This makes it less likely to be detected by predators.
  • The young leave the nest and can swim soon after hatching, and chicks are often carried on the backs of the swimming adults.
  • It breeds during the rainy season-April-October.
Local Names :

Hindi    : Dubdubi, Pandubi, Pantiri, Churaka
Bengali : Duburi, Dubdubi, Pandubi
Tamil    : Tanni pullu, Mukkulippan