Hoary-headed Grebe (species: Poliocephalus poliocephalus) in Bulahdelah (Gaia Guide)
Poliocephalus poliocephalus
Hoary-headed Grebe

©Leo: Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) in breeding plumage

©Nick Talbot: Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) in breeding plumage

©Patrick_K59 on Flickr: Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Podicipediformes
Family Podicipedidae
Genus Poliocephalus
Species Poliocephalus poliocephalus
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It is a fairly small dark grey and white grebe. It has a brown eye and a black patch under the chin, and a narrow black streak down the back of the neck. During the breeding season the adult's plumage has white streaks over its entire head, giving them the common name of Hoary-headed Grebe. Juveniles have a white chin and throat and a striped face.

Males have two plumage phases: after breeding they lose the buff breast and the white lines on the head, but can usually be identified then by the broad black bar down the nape. (Wikipedia)


  • From 25 cm to 30 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is found in all states and territories of Australia as well as in New Zealand. It is generally absent from the central arid regions of Australia.

It is usually found away from the shoreline in large open waters, which may be estuarine, brackish or freshwater. It can also be found in sheltered coastal seas. It can sometimes be found in New Zealand, where it is much less common than Australia. (Wikipedia)


It feeds on aquatic arthropods, mostly caught by deep diving. This species feeds during the day, and when the light is poor, forages mostly at the water surface. (Wikipedia)

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