Sorting out the grebes

All three species of grebes found in Australia can be encountered in the Newstead district. The largest, the Great-crested Grebe, is a bird of open waters and will almost certainly be seen over summer on Cairn Curran now that the storage is full. The two smaller species can also be seen there but this is more common outside the breeding season.

The Australasian Grebe often uses small bush and farm dams for breeding – the images below are from a small dam along South German Track where a pair with two striped youngsters had built a nest over Spring.

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Australasian Grebe in breeding plumage, South German Track, 2nd December 2016

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Australasian Grebe – adult and chick

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II

Hoary-headed Grebes are less common locally but small numbers breed, especially when the plains wetlands are suitably wet. In non-breeding plumage over winter the two species of smaller grebes are superficially similar – their breeding attire is however, very different. The silver-streaked head-dress of the Hoary-headed Grebe immediately sets it apart from the richly marked Australasian Grebe.

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Hoary-headed Grebe, Lignum Swamp, 3rd December 2016

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The Hoary-head Grebe has a silver eye, while that of the Australasian Grebe is yellow

One response to “Sorting out the grebes

  1. And here endeth the lesson!vThank you!

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