Australasian Grebe

The Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae, is a tiny waterbird common on fresh water lakes and rivers in greater Australia, New Zealand and on nearby Pacific islands.

At 25-27 cm in length, it is one of the smallest members of the grebe family (see also Little, Least Grebe).

It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and usually dives immediately when alarmed and swims away under water.

Identification

Breeding plumage

Both sexes are dark brown above with a glossy-black head and neck and a striking chestnut facial stripe, extending from behind the eye to the base of the neck. The eye is yellow, with a prominent pale yellow face spot below.

Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae

Non-breeding

Both are generally duller, with no chestnut stripe, the face spot whiter, and throat and front grey-white. Similar to non-breeding Hoary-headed Grebes, which share a similar range.

Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae - Nest, eggs and chicks
Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae - Parent covering eggs in floating nest
Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae - pair building a floating nest