Least Grebe Life History


Habitat Lakes and PondsTemporary or permanent wetlands, including ponds, lakes, ditches, and slow-moving rivers.Back to top


Food Aquatic invertebratesAquatic insects, small fish, and tadpoles.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Floating

Nest Description

A pile of decaying vegetation anchored to plants in shallow water.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:3-7 eggs
Egg Description:Whitish, or pale blue or green.
Condition at Hatching:Covered with black-and-white down. Within 20 minutes after hatching, young Least Grebes can climb on their mother's backs; within 40 minutes, they can cling to their mother when she dives.
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Behavior Surface DivePicks prey from water's surface; also dives to pluck food from the bottom, or emerges from under water to snap at flying insects above surface.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernThere is little information on Least Grebe population numbers and trends. The species rates a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List. However, the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan lists it as a Species of High Concern. Least Grebe is hunted across much of its range. Back to top


Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Storer, Robert W. (2011). Least Grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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