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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Little Grebe / Dabchick

Afrikaans name: Kleindobbertjie

Little Grebe

Photo © Steven Herbert

Tachybaptus ruficollis

The Little Grebe is the smallest of the 3 species of Grebe that occur in South Africa. It is about 20 cm in length.

They can be found in suitable habitat right across South Africa. Beyond our borders they can be found across most of Africa and Europe.

Little Grebes are normally found in quiet, slow-flowing stretches of water that have some vegetation to provide them with cover.

They are normally found in pairs or small groups during the breeding season. Outside of the breeding season they may occasionally be found in large flocks.

Their food consists of small aquatic animals such as tadpoles, frogs and arthropods. They spend a lot of time diving under the water to look for food.

Little Grebes breed at different times of the year from region to region. They make their nest on the water and it consists of bits of vegetation. It is often concealed under overhanging plants. Up to 5 eggs may be laid. Both parents tend to the eggs and chicks.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 23

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 199

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 199

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 36

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 1

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 4

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 10

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 6

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Year Published: 2005 - Page: 1

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 45

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 46

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 177

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 32

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 96

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 96

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 3

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 5

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 5

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 6

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 6

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 32

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 72

Seabirds - Author: Peter Harrison - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 212

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 138

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 20

List of South African Birds

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