Australasian Grebe

posted in: Nesting | 0

                                                 Australasian Grebe ( Tachybaptus novaehollandiae )

( Lake Pertobe, Warrnambool, Australia. 6th November 2022 )

During my holiday at Warrnambool, I strolled around placid Lake Pertobe a few times and noticed the grebes going about their nest-building.  The breeding plumage made them stand out from the background.  I noticed a pair of these birds returning to a particular point amongst the plants growing in the middle of the lake.  Close observations for a period of time revealed a floating nest, with a bird sitting in it for varying lengths of time.


The photo gallery  and videos  documented the grebes’ activities amidst the goings on of other birds that shared this living space.

Image A: Tachybaptus novaehollandiae. Breeding plumage: striking yellow eye with central black pupil, a pale yellow teardrop patch sloping diagonally from lower front corner of eye towards base of lower beak, a mostly black head, a bright reddish brown, broad stripe of color extends posteriorly from each eye towards the nape and downwards along each side of the neck. The beak is black with a white tip.
Image B: collecting nest-building material.
Image C: looking for suitable nesting materials with urgency and determination.
Image D: one grebe happened to turn with its rear facing me.
Image E: searching amongst the plant island near its floating nest.
Image F: blackish brown wings and light brown flank. Whitish rump.
Image G: Whitish belly and vent. Breast is greyish. Legs are steel grey. Clambering into nest.
Image H: Two yellow eyes, leading to two white streaks and ending in a white dot makes for a scary look. Sitting in nest.
Image I: grebe sitting on a floating nest of vegetation, protected by surrounding water, under shady tree branches makes a good nesting site. Checking out the construction.
Image J: Sitting on nest whilst observing its surroundings.
Image K: suspicious sounds coming from behind her?
Image L: one bird or two? mate playing ambush/ springing surprises?.
Image M:swimming around the floating nest.
Image N: mate brings nest-building material.
Image O:mate brings a long plant fibre in its beak, lower left of picture.


Video 1: A grebe goes about its nest-building with great urgency.

Video 2: It was a windy day and the nest bobbed on the water.


Photos, videos, texts by Michael Wong



( 1 ) Birds of Australia – A photographic guide by Iain Campbell, Sam Woods and Nick Leseberg © 2015

( 2 ) Australian Wildlife by Leonard Cronin © 2007

( 3 ) Fleurieu Birds by Peter Gower © 2012

( 4 ) Field Guide to Australian Birds by Michael Morcombe © 2004

( 5 ) Wildlife of Australia by Iain Campbell and Sam Woods © 2013

( 6 ) The Robins and Flycatchers of Australia by Walter E. Boles © 1988

( 7 ) Handbook of the Birds of the World edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal © 1992

( 8 ) Wikipedia


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