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Little grebe


Common name Little grebe
Scientific name Tachybaptus ruficollis
Type Waterbirds
Status Resident

Waterbird of small size (about 29 cm or 11.5), smaller than ducks. Medium-sized and arched neck, long and thin bill (different from that of ducks), legs with lobed toes and vestigial tail, very short. Chubby body (looks like a duckling). Dark, almost black, upperparts, head and nape; rufous neck and cheeks; brown flanks and white cottony anal area. Yellow spot at the corner of the bill. In winter much more brown and clear tone, losing the rufous colour. Dark eyes. It submerges frequently to dive and usually emerges in different places than where it dived.



Where it lives

All types of natural and artificial wetlands that have plenty of submerged vegetation and shores with borders of dense marsh vegetation.

How it lives

Species resident all year round in the province. Malaga also hosts winter visitors who usually arrive by night migration. Floating nest. Very territorial during the breeding season. Laying of 4 to 6 eggs. The chicks often accompany the adults in their movements on the back of these. It feeds on submerged plants, aquatic insects, amphibian larvae and small fish that it catches while diving.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Frequent and common bird in most Malaga wetlands. It can be observed in the Fuente de Piedra, Campillos, Archidona and La Ratosa lagoons; in the mouths of the Guadalhorce and the Vélez rivers; and in reservoirs and small marshes near the coast.

Curious facts

Little grebes are the smallest aquatic birds present in Malaga. Their Latin name means "fast redhead diver", referring to the colour of their neck and especially the behaviour that characterizes grebes: disappearing quickly underwater.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration