28 August, 2011

New Zealand Grebe

Scientific Name: Poliocephalus rufopectus

Population Estimate: 1700 - 1800 individuals, Vulnerable status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to New Zealand. Found year round in sheltered parts of inland lakes and farm ponds on the North Island.

Field Notes: Small freshwater diving bird with distinctive grebe silhouette -- low to water, rounded read end, small pointy bill. This is a dark grebe with fine silver feathers on head and body, yellow eye, rusty neck and breast. Only similar bird in the range is Australasian Grebe, a rare bird in the far north, with a yellow patch of skin between eye and bill.

Personal Notes: Seen at Lake Tutira near Napier. Known as New Zealand Dabchick in New Zealand. Maori name Weweia.

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