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Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation Ponds

A freshwater bird and small member of the grebe family, the Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) are found across Australia, especially on small fresh waters, lakes and rivers. The Australasian Grebe pictured here were seen at the Alice Springs Sewage Ponds.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer

The male Australasian Grebe are larger then the female, and have longer bill to that of the female. There are two distinct plumage phases. In the non-breeding season, the plumage of sexes is dark grey-brown above and mostly silver-grey below, with a white oval patch of bare skin at the base of the bill.

During the breeding season, both sexes have a dark glossy-black head, a rich chestnut stripe which extends from just behind the eye and down through to the base of the neck. The eyes are a strong yellow and stand out. The patch of skin at the base of the gape (the fleshy area at the base of the bill where the upper and lower mandibles meet) becomes pale yellow.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer

The photographs presented here were taking in the month of April, May, June, October and December.

Check out our Birds | Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Podicipediformes
  • Family: Podicipedidae
  • Genus: Tachybaptus
  • Species: Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer

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