Least Grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus)

Least Grebe

[order] Podicipediformes | [family] Podicipedidae | [latin] Tachybaptus dominicus | [UK] Least Grebe | [FR] Grebe minime | [DE] Schwarzkopftaucher | [ES] Zampullin Macacito | [IT] Svasso minore | [NL] Dwergfuut


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Podilymbus dominicus
Tachybaptus dominicus NA, LA s Texas to n Argentina
Tachybaptus dominicus bangsi w Mexico
Tachybaptus dominicus brachypterus s Texas (USA) to wc Mexico and Panama
Tachybaptus dominicus brachyrhynchus n South America to n Argentina
Tachybaptus dominicus dominicus Greater Antilles
Tachybaptus dominicus eisenmanni w Ecuador

Physical charateristics

Small, stocky-bodied grebe with a short, thin bill and
Yellow eyes. Dark plumage, darker on the crown and back
White undertail coverts. Feet set far back on body and trail awkwardly behind body in flight. Sexes similar.

Listen to the sound of Least Grebe

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/L/Least Grebe.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 48 cm wingspan max.: 53 cm
size min.: 23 cm size max.: 25 cm
incubation min.: 21 days incubation max.: 22 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Very local, mainly in subtropical parts of the Americas. It may favour small temporary waters which lack predatory fish. It also occurs in swamps, shallow lakes, or oxbows, often almost overgrown with floating vegetation.
The least grebe is rare in freshwater swamps in Suriname near the coast. Birds have also been found in ponds or rivers farther in to the interior.


Habitats include fresh and brackish water, from small ponds to lakes, ditches, marshes and slower moving parts of rivers.


Multi-brooded, will nest in any season if conditions are suitable. Lays 3 to 6 blue-white eggs that become nest staiined. Builds a foating nest of vegetation anchored to reeds. Incubation about 21 days.

Feeding habits

Eats aquatic insects, small fish, tadpoles, snails, and above water insects. Like all grebes, also eat their own feathers, which may protect the gastrointestinal track from sharp fish bones.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 9,200,000 km

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