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.

References and further reading

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 42

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 28

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

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 3

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 125

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 4

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

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

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

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 22

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

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 50

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

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

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

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

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 29

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

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

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 4

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 24

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

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

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 45

BirdLife South Africa


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