Grebes have fleshy feet set well back on the body, adapted for underwater manoeuvrability, but are unpractical for walking on land. Four species of these specialised waterbirds have been recorded in Australia. The Hoary-headed Grebe Poliocephalus poliocephalus is endemic to Australia, while the Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus is represented in Australia by a single endemic subspecies, the Australian Great Crested Grebe P. c. australis. The Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae is found in Australia, NZ, PNG and some Pacific islands. The Little Grebe T. ruficollis has been recorded as a vagrant from Australia, as well as Sulawesi, Moluccas, Java, Lesser Sundas and New Guinea.

Hoary-headed Grebe

Commonly seen, but often mistaken for the Australasian Grebe, the Hoary-headed Grebe is perhaps the  most gregarious of the three grebes found in Australia, often seen nesting and roosting in groups.  It is found on open, fresh or brackish, waterways, throughout the majority of Australia.  The Hoary-headed Grebe is most easily identified during the breeding season, typically October to March, but ma...