July’s Bird of the Month is Tachybaptus ruficollis or Little Grebe.
The little grebe, also known as a dabchick, is the smallest grebe in the UK. It has a darker summer plumage, with a red neck. In winter it is paler brown and white. This small grebe can be seen glimpsed as it rises to the surface of the water, it quickly dives again in search of food.
As an excellent swimmer and diver, its large feet are placed far back on the body, making it clumsy on land. It is usually only on land to breed. The nest is a floating platform made from waterweed. Little grebes, like other grebes will carry their young on their back.
Kerrie Curzon, Collections Assistant and Lee Ismail, Curator of Natural Sciences