April 7, 2015 – Australasian Grebe, Australian Grebe, Eastern Little Grebe, Australian Little Grebe, or Australasian Little Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)

Requested by: taylorrbranham

These small diving birds are found throughout Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. Living around fresh water, they feed on small fish, aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, and plants. Unlike most swimming birds, the Australasian Grebe has the ability to control its own buoyancy by adjusting the angle of its waterproof feathers. This allows the grebe to sink like a submarine with only its head remaining above the water and to swim higher or lower at the surface. They are territorial and often live in solitary breeding pairs, or small groups. Like other grebes, they eat their own feathers, which helps protect their digestive system from the sharp fish bones they swallow.