The Least Grebe is the smallest grebe in North America, and occupies portions of southern Texas, although most of its range lies south of the U.S. The small size of the Least Grebe, and its ability to take off from water more rapidly than other grebes allows it to use even small, temporary bodies of water.
Least Grebes form pairs during the breeding season, family groups in the fall, and may occur in small flocks in the winter. One source of mortality for Least Grebes in Texas is being trapped in ice when ponds freeze over, making them vulnerable to predators.
Least Grebe — Length: 9 inches, Wing span: 11 inches
The Least Grebe is very small with grayish plumage and yellow eyes. Blackish crown and throat. Length: 9 in. Wingspan: 11 in.
Seasonal change in appearance
Least Grebes are somewhat dingier and browner in the winter, and have whitish throats.
Juveniles resemble adults but are browner.
Marshes and ponds.
Forages by diving and swimming.
Resident in south Texas and Mexico, as well as Central and South America.
Almost nothing is known about the courtship behavior of Least Grebes.
Pied-billed Grebes are sometimes aggressive towards Least Grebes.
The most common call is a trill of varying speed.
Other grebes are larger and lack bright yellow eyes.
The nest is a pile of decaying vegetation in the water.
Incubation and fledging:
– Young hatch at 21 days.
– Young fledge (leave the nest) shortly after hatching but remain with the adults for some time.