Little Grebe

Little Grebe    Tachybaptus ruficollis


  • Tachybaptus : Greek word takhus -fast; bapto- to sink under.
  • Ruficollis: Latin word Rufi –Red ; Collis- Neck,Collar { Red necked}

Vernacular Names: Sind: Tubino, Hindi: Pandubbi, Pantiri, Dubdubi, Churaka, Sans: Laghoo vajjul, Kash: Pind, Pun: Dubkani, Ben: Dubdubi, Pandubi, Duburi, Guj: Dubki, Nani dubki, Mar: Pandubi, Tibukali Ori: Dubudubi, Ta: Mukkulippan, Tanni pullu, Te: Munugudi-kodi, Chinna munugu, Kan: Jala chatare

Distribution in India: Resident across India

Description: Size of 25-29 cm.It has a blackish-brown cap down to just behind eye and to chin and upper throat, and back to hind neck, upperparts and upper wing-coverts; remiges brownish grey, with variable amount of white on secondaries, white underwing-coverts; chestnut on rear face (behind eye), lower throat, fore neck and broadly on sides of neck; dark brown from base of neck to flanks and breast, flanks fluffy and often show some chestnut and light buffy, whitish on abdomen and at base of tail, iris dark brown; bill black, with small whitish to yellowish tip, and obvious pale yellow to pale bluish basal patch; legs dark greenish grey. Non-breeding adult  is paler, upperparts dark grey-brown, with lower and rear face and most of neck buff to ochre-brown, rather than chestnut, chin and throat whitish, sides and flanks also paler, with much brownish to pale buff admixed; bill has orangey cutting edges and most of mandible, pale patch at base often greenish yellow. Sexes similar in plumage though the female is smaller than the male.

Habitat: It inhabits wetlands, normally small and shallow, including small lakes, ponds, canals; also sheltered bays, vegetated shores of larger lakes and reservoirs. Out with breeding season, occurs on more open waters; also, less frequently, on coast, in estuaries protected from large waves

Food Habits: It eats mainly insects and larvae,), stoneflies, various water bugs, beetles , also molluscs, crustaceans and amphibians, mainly young, small frogs and some small. Feeds mainly by diving for 10–25 seconds to depth of 1 m to 2 m; also swims along with head and neck submerged, and picks prey directly off emergent vegetation or water surface. Sometimes associates with ducks and coots (Fulica) –which stir vegetation and flush small invertebrates

Breeding Habits: They breed in March–Sept. Nest is a floating platform of aquatic plants anchored to submerged vegetation. Lays a clutch of 2–10 eggs, the incubation period is 20–25 days; fledging period 44–48 days, but young independent at 30–40 days