Least Grebe

Tachybaptus dominicus




Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to pale blue green, nest stained

Number of Eggs:

2 - 7

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Floating nest is anchored in water to reeds or other plants.

Nest Material:

Floating nest of decaying vegetation.





Least Grebe: Smallest of North America's grebes. Eyes dark yellow , plumage is dark black-gray, white undertail coverts and white wing patch in flight. In winter shows white throat, in summer a dark throat. Seldom fly and rarely leave nesting places. When not nesting found in small flocks.Females similar, juveniles are dark and light gray with striping on head.

Range and Habitat

Least Grebe: Found in coastal regions of southern Texas, Mexico, the Rio Grande valley, Baja California, Arizona, South Florida, the West Indies, Central America, and northern Argentina. Habitats include fresh and brackish water, from small ponds to lakes, ditches, marshes and slower moving parts of rivers.

Breeding and Nesting

Least Grebe: Multi-brooded, will nest in any season if conditions are suitable. Lays two to seven white to pale blue green eggs. Builds a floating nest of vegetation anchored to reeds. Incubation lasts for 21 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Least Grebe: Eats insects, primarily aquatic, small fish, tadpoles, snails, and above water insects. Like all grebes, also eat their own feathers, which may protect the gastrointestinal track from sharp fish bones.


Least Grebe: Emits a loud, nasal, high pitched "beeeek" or high pitched buzzy, chattering "vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv."

Similar Species

Least Grebe: Pied-billed Grebe is similar but has a thicker, ringed bill, darker eye, and plumage is more brown.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X