The Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae is a tiny waterbird common on fresh water lakes and rivers in greater Australia, New Zealand and on nearby Pacific islands. At 25-27 cm in length, it is one of the smallest members of the grebe family (see also Little, Least Grebe).
It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and usually dives immediately when alarmed and swims away under water.
Both sexes are dark brown above with a glossy-black head and neck and a striking chestnut facial stripe, extending from behind the eye to the base of the neck. The eye is yellow, with a prominent pale yellow face spot below.
Both are generally duller, with no chestnut stripe, the face spot whiter, and throat and front grey-white. Similar to non-breeding Hoary-headed Grebes, which share a similar range.
Breeding adult with chicks
Adult covering eggs in floating nest