English Name Little Grebe
Scientific Name Tachybaptus ruficollis
German Name Zwergtaucher
Spanish Name Zampullín Común
French Name Grèbe castagneux
Little Grebe
Peters Family Name PODICIPEDIDAE:Grebes Order 202.0
Sibley Monroe Family Name PODICIPEDIDAE:Grebes Order 3659.0
Gill Family Name PODICIPEDIDAE:Grebes Order 62.0
New 2013 Family Name PODICIPEDIDAE:Grebes Order 210.0
English Synonyms
  • African Dabchick (capensis)
  • African Little Grebe (capensis)
  • Common Dabchick
  • Common Grebe
  • Dabchick
  • Red-throated Grebe
  • Red-throated Little Grebe
$Tachybaptus novaehollandiae incola Storer,1979,in Mayr & Cottrell(eds.),Checklist of the Birds of the World,2nd ed.,1,p.143.
Authority (Pallas 1764)

wide range of wetlands,normally small & shallow,inlcuding small lakes,ponds,canals;also sheltered bays,vegetated shores of larger lakes & reservoirs.Outside breeding season,ocurs on more open waters,rarely on coast in estuaries protected from large waves

Breeding "Season very variable...Feb-Sept in W Palearctic,with peak Apr-Jul;May-Jul,occasionally Oct-Feb in Japan;recorded all months in tropical Africa." (HBW,1,p.189)
Resident, dispersive, and migratory. Less marked shift to coasts or large lakes for winter than in other European grebes. Some move to sheltered estuaries and harbours, accentuated in severe winters, but not normally seen in significant numbers on sea. Extent of movement in different parts of breeding range linked to winter temperatures. In northern parts (notably south Sweden and Baltic States) and east Europe, regular winter freezing of smaller rivers and lakes compels movement which may be southward migration or dispersal to nearest open water. In Britain, as elsewhere in temperate and south Europe, many basically resident though others (perhaps mainly juveniles) disperse. Autumn flocking noted on some large reservoirs in south-east England; exceptionally, concentrations up to 300 in Essex in August-September. Movement begins late July, normally continuing into November; in Russia, migration noted on lower Don in October, with winter arrivals in Crimea in November. Cold weather movements can occur at any time during winter. Breeding territories, if deserted, reoccupied mainly March to early May. Autumn and spring records on and near British east coasts, especially at lighthouses, indicate immigration from continent; extent unknown, but one ringed Denmark in September recovered in Hertfordshire, January. Ringing recoveries throw limited light on origins of migrants since most ringed and recovered autumn or winter, when perhaps already well away from natal areas. General indications: breeders from north-west Europe migrate or disperse in south to south-west directions; those from central and west-central Europe move (if at all) west-north-west to south-west; while those from east-central and south-east Europe tend to move west to south. One ringed as chick Czechoslovakia shot Italy, November; only July adult from Belgium found north France, March. 3 ringed Denmark late August and early September recovered England (January, see above), north Germany (December) and Netherlands (November). Individuals ringed Switzerland midwinter found Czechoslovakia in August and Hungary in July, perhaps near natal areas. Others, both ringed and recovered between late September and April, show movements between north-west Germany, Low Countries, and west France; between lakes of Switzerland, Austria, south Germany, and France; and between central Europe and Italy. Winter recoveries not fitting above: ringed England September-November, found France (December, March) and Netherlands (spring), and one ringed Switzerland November found Poland subsequent November. More breeding season ringing necessary to elucidate complex movements.
Degree of movement between Europe and north Africa uncertain; but flock 25-30 flying north between Tunisia and Sardinia, 6 April 1967. Common winter visitor to south Caspian September to March-April, augmenting resident breeders; these presumably T. r. capensis which breeds south and east of Caucasus. No evidence of any long-distance movement by local race T. r. iraquensis. Vagrant to Arabia (Bahrein, Oman, Aden); the only specimen, taken Oman, October, was capensis.
Thanks to BWP on CD-ROM