The Least Grebe

Least Grebe

An Educational feature of the Wildfowl Trust 

Text and Photograhs by Rishi Goordial- Trust Member

There are about 22 species of Grebes worldwide.

The Least Grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus) is an aquatic bird and is the smallest member of the grebe family in the Americas. Its length is between 8.3–10.6 in. Spending most of their time on water, Grebes can be found on freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes. On one of the dams that perimeter the Trust we are very fortunate to have active, breeding Least Grebes for a couple years now.

Small and plump, with a fairly short, sharp-pointed bill and bright yellow eyes, it typically appears quite dark /sooty all over. The breeding adult is brownish grey above with a darker blackish crown and throat while the immature are paler and greyer with a black striped head and dull eyes. 

A Juvenile Least Grebe

Grebes have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. Although they can run for a short distance, they are prone to falling over, since their legs are set well back on their body.

The Grebe’s diet consists of aquatic life, including small fishes, crustaceans, frogs and aquatic insects. It pursues much of its prey under water. During active feeding, it spends an average of 12 seconds beneath the surface on each dive. They also respond to danger by diving rather than flying. 

Least Grebe feeding under water showing lobed toes

Each pair builds a compact floating nest of vegetation with a variety of aquatic weeds which is anchored to rooted plants in still open water as deep as 5 ft. The female lays three to six white eggs. Both adults incubate the eggs, which hatch after 21 days. The striped young are sometimes carried on the adult's back.

Three Juveniles With One Adult

 

The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust works German Embassy in Combating Climate Change in Trinidad and Tobago

  

The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust is proud to be supported by the German Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago again with a grant which would enable the Trust's outreach programme "Adapting to Climate Change". Trust Educators will visit schools specifically in rural areas of Trinidad and Tobago to share educational programmes to the youth engaging them in discussions and showing them that a "green lifestyle" helps fight climate change. 

The Embassy and the Trust have been long standing partners since 2011 in raising the awareness about climate change.

 

BG

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