Three subspecies are recognized within the group “tricolor”:

T.ruficollis vulcanorum is found in Java to Timor.
This race has more black on the throat but this is variable.

T.ruficollis tricolor is found in Sulawesi to New Guinea and Lesser Sundas.  
This one has long bill and darker plumage than other races. It is mostly grey-black. Ear-coverts and neck are rufous. On the underparts, the feathers have grey fringes.

T.ruficollis collaris is found in NE New Guinea to Bougainville Island in Solomon Islands.
This one resembles both previous, but it has black lower neck. The bill is longer and heavier.

The Tricolored Grebe frequents a variety of wetlands such as small lakes and ponds, but also sheltered bays and the vegetated shores of larger lakes and reservoirs.
The race T.ruficollis tricolor in Timor-Leste is observed from sea-level to 2,100 metres of elevation.  

The Tricolored Grebe gives loud, fast trill, usually uttered by male and female.

The Tricolored Grebe probably feeds on insects and larvae, and some crustaceans, molluscs and amphibians.
It forages by diving, but it also swims while pecking food items from the emergent vegetation.

The Tricolored Grebe nests on a floating platform anchored to the submerged aquatic plants.  
Information about clutch size and nesting period is currently lacking.

No information about the movements of the Tricolored Grebe.
Population size and status are currently unknown, and information is required in order to better understand this species.

Fr: Grèbe tricolore
Ang: Tricolored Grebe
All: Zwergtaucher
Esp: Zampullín Común (tricolor - Islas del Pacífico)
Nd: Indische Dodaars
Sd: indonesisk smådopping


Steve Garvie (picture of the Little Grebe)
RAINBIRDER Photo galleries & Flickr Rainbirder

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD vol 1 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334105

Avibase (Denis Lepage)

Birds of the World  (Little Grebe)

IOC World Bird List  

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia


Home page

Family Podicipedidae

Summary cards


Tricolored Grebe
 Tachybaptus tricolor

Podicipediformes Order - Podicipedidae Family

The Tricolored Grebe was still recently considered a subspecies of the Little Grebe, and although being split by the IOC World Bird List, other taxonomic authorities still consider this species a subspecies of T. ruficollis.

The Tricolored Grebe is very similar to the Little Grebe. It is native to SE Asia and Australasia, and three subspecies share this range.

Little information is available on size of populations outside Europe.
The Tricolored Grebe is currently poorly known and requires more studies.

The Tricolored Grebe resembles Little Grebe with only some differences.

Little Grebe