Grebes are adapted for underwater maneuverability with feet set well back on the body making walking on land very clumsy. They live in freshwater wetlands including lakes, ponds, and slow-flowing rivers.
Grebes engage in elaborate courtship displays at breeding time, and both male and female take care of the chicks.
The Australasian Grebe
( Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
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.