The little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), also known as dabchick, belongs to the Podicipedidae (grebes) family of birds. Podicipedidae comprises six genera, and 22 species of grebes of which two are extinct. Measuring 25-29 cm in length and weighing 150-250 grams, little grebes are the smallest among the Podicipedidae family. Of the nine recognized subspecies, T. r. capensis is present in the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Another subspecies T. r. albescens is distributed in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
The habitat of these little birds include wide range of normally small and shallow ponds, wetlands, small lakes and canals. These birds feed mainly on insects, larvae, small fish, crustaceans, beetles and snails. In India,these birds are seen breeding in small colonies in the heavily vegetated areas of freshwater wetlands, lakes and ponds.
In India, they nest on the water's edge, preferably among the thick vegetation. The nest has about five eggs. Soon after hatching the young ones leave the nest and start swimming. Sometimes the parents are seen carrying the young ones on their back.
|Indian bird - Little grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis|
|Binomial name:||Tachybaptus ruficollis|
|Distribution:||freshwater lakes across Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent and most of Africa;|
|Feeding habits:||fish, small crustaceans, aquatic insects, molluscs and larvae;|
|IUCN status listing:||Least Concern|
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zwergtaucher_060319_3.jpg
Author: de:Benutzer:BS Thurner Hof | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Little grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis.