Little Grebe ( Tachybaptus ruficollis, family: Podicipedidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Dabchick

little grebe kruger national park birds The Little Grebe (Latin name Tachybaptus ruficollis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 8 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 560 also a picture of the Little Grebe on page 544. The Little Grebe belongs to the family of birds classified as Podicipedidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Little Grebe is also known by these other names: African Dabchick, Dabchick.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Little Grebe was called the Dabchick

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Little Grebe is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Little Grebe in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Little Grebe : see above distribution map.

The Little Grebe.

Dabchick - Little GrebeIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Little Grebe is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Little Grebe is about 20 cms and its weight is about 170 gms

The male and female Little Grebe have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is cinnamon.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Little Grebe feeds in or around water mainly

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Little Grebe takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Little Grebe is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 3 to 9

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Little Grebe are: wetlands and riverine areas . Comments about the Little Grebe :eats its feathers to help wrap fish bones.

You will normally see the Little Grebe in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unolwilwilwi/Unonyamembi

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Kleindobbertjie

German ... Zwergtaucher

Portuguese ... Mergulho-pequeno

French ... Grbe castagneux

Dutch ... Dodaars

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 8

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,