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Little Grebe / Dabchick

Afrikaans name: Kleindobbertjie

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Little Grebe

Photo © Steven Herbert

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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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