About Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Danube Delta
The Little Grebe is the smallest species in Europe belonging to its family. It is an aquatic species, which prefers lakes and pools with rich vegetation, but it can be also found in the reed areas from the Delta.
Its plumage is dull, with reddish brown feathers, which helps him to blend in the landscape. The only thing which betrays its presence,especially during mating rituals, is its distinctive calling.
The Little Grebe feeds on aquatic insects and their larvae, small worms and crabs, and rarely a small sized fish.
Its floating nest is made from aquatic plants. The Little Grebe builds its nest in areas with thick vegetation, near the seagulls or coots colonies. The aquatic plants used for building the nest are also used to cover up the eggs when the bird leaves the nest.
The female Little Grebe lays 4 white eggs, which are incubated for 3 weeks. When the chicks are covered in fluff, they are able to swim and dive.
The Little Grebe is a migratory species, which winters in the Mediterranean area and in the north of Africa. During soft winters, a few isolated specimens try to remain in the Delta.