Australasian Grebe

Tachybaptus novaehollandiae

The Australasian Grebe may be observed  throughout Australia  swimming singly or in twos in freshwater wetlands,  freshwater ponds, small waterways and farm dams.

They have a varied diet which include aquatic invertebrates,  small fish, normally caught during deep underwater dives, insects taken from the waters surface and at times even small frogs.

At breeding time they build floating nests —a platform made from green aquatic vegetation normally anchored to a submerged branch or reed.  Their pale blue eggs are laid in a nest and once the young hatch they are able to swim almost immediately using their proportionally oversized webbed feet. Both parents help raise the chicks, they follow their parents about, and they sometimes nestle onto the back of a swimming adult to rest before becoming independent at approximately 8 weeks old..

Like other grebes, the Australasian Grebe is often seen eating its own feathers and feeding them to its young. This behavior is thought to help prevent injury from any sharp fish bones that are swallowed.