Little Grebe catching a newt (Pleurodeles waltl)

By MaghrebOrnitho | 28 January 2012

This Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) photographed while catching a sharp-ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl) at a small pond near Sidi Bettache, western Morocco (Saad Rih). The prey, also known as Iberian ribbed newt, is a near threatened Ibero-Moroccan endemic.

The Little Grebe is mainly piscivorous (fish-eater), although it’s known to take bigger prey such as newts (Wilkinson 2008) and even small mammals (Fisher 2005).

References:

Fisher, R. 2005. Little Grebe swallowing small mammal. British Birds 98: 156. PDF

Wilkinson, C. 2008. Little Grebe catching newt. British Birds 101: 200. PDF

A Little Grebe just caught a Sharp-ribbed Newt (Pleurodeles waltl), Sidi Bettache, Morocco (Saad Rih).

A Little Grebe just caught a Sharp-ribbed Newt (Pleurodeles waltl), Sidi Bettache, Morocco (Saad Rih).

2 thoughts on “Little Grebe catching a newt (Pleurodeles waltl)

  1. Kyle

    Nice blog and great photos! I initially noticed your “ grebe bs lizard” capture. That looks like a pretty big thing caught here!

    I’m guessing not too good for an endemic species to end up on this birds potential menu.

    So the grebe managed the struggle and gulped the amphibian all the way down okay? Does the newt put up a good fight, if eaten, does the unlucky prey get swallowing wriggling as well!?

    Reply
    1. MaghrebOrnitho Post author

      Thanks Kyle for your comment!

      Yes, it’s a pretty big prey for the little bird. As the cited references show, the species is known to catch some big preys now and then. But I think this won’t be a big problem for these secondary prey species.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know the exact outcome of this encounter.

      Reply

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