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Australasian Grebe - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Australasian Little Grebe)
Photo by Tom Tarrant
Tachybaptus novaehollandiae


Breeding - upperparts are dark slaty-brown to black with chestnut patch from behind auriculars down side of neck, yellow eye, and highly visible yellow subloral stribe from eye to just below the bill.

Non-breeding - throat, upper breast, and sides of neck grey-white, rest of body slightly duller than breeding plumage, bill pale, and sub-loral stripe much less obvious. This plumage is similar to but browner than the winter plumage of Hoary-headed Grebe.

Winter Plumage
Photo by TCollins
Fogg Dam, August 2008


Australasia: found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, much of Indonesia, and some pacific islands.


Photo by Birdeye
Victor Harbor, South Australia, January 2007


Seven subspecies are recognized:

  • T. n. novaehollandiae:
  • T. n. leucosternos:
  • T. n. rennellianus:
  • T. n. javanicus:
  • T. n. timorensis:
  • T. n. fumosus:
  • Sangihi Island and Talaud Islands (off north-eastern Sulawesi)
  • T. n. incola:


Fresh water lakes, ponds, farm dams, and slowmoving rivers, all with plentyfull vegetation; in winter also on more open waters.



The diet includes small fish and water insects.


It builds a nest which is a floating mound of vegetation, normally anchored to a submerged branch or reed. Pale blue eggs are laid and are incubated and cared for by both parents. The chicks can swim from birth. There can be three successive broods in a season.


  1. Pizzey, G. & Knight, F. 1997. Birds of Australia (Collins Field Guide). HarperCollins Publishers, London. ISBN 0-00-220132-1
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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