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Conservation status: Green

A small, dumpy grebe which often appears to have a 'fluffy' rear end. It readily dives when disturbed, surfacing unseen some distance away. In summer it has a bright chestnut throat and cheeks and a pale gape patch at the base of the bill. It can be noisy, with a distinctive whinnying trill.



Latin name

Tachybaptus ruficollis


Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Where to see them

It is found across the UK although is largely absent from upland areas. Look for it wherever there are suitable lakes, gravel pits, canals and slow rivers with plenty of vegetation. In winter it can be found on more exposed lakes, as well as sheltered coasts and estuaries. Winter concentrations can be found in places like the Thames Estuary, Chew Valley Lake and Rutland Water.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Insects, larvae and small fish


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-3,900-7,800 pairs17,000 birds-




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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