Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Nature reserve. 15th December 2013. © Peter Hillman

Family Podicipedidae

Length 25-29 cm.
Wingspan 40-45 cm.
Weight 100-120 g.

Also called the Dabchick, it is a rather dumpy water bird, with a blackish cap, back and breast, and a chestnut-red face.

The nest is a pile of weed on the water anchored to vegetation. The female lays 4 to 6 eggs in 1 brood from April to June. It can live for up to 10 years. To feed it dives beneath the surface of the water for long periods, searching for fish and large invertebrates.

Seen all year round, it may be found on ponds, lakes, canals and rivers, and also seen along the coast in winter. Locally common and widespread throughout Britain. A native species.