Podiceps poliocephalus, Jardine and Selby, 1827, New South Wales.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Hoary-headed dabchick; French: Grиbe argentй; German: Haarschopftaucher; Spanish: Zampullнn Canoso. Podilymbus podiceps
11–12 in (27–30 cm); 0.4–0.7 lb (190–311 g). Adult breeding: entire head and upperparts dark, head covered with long, fine streaks of white plumes except on black mid-crown and upper throat. Neck and breast light rusty to whitish, belly white, sides mottled with gray. Eyes buffy, bill black prominently tipped white. Nonbreeding: duller, with fewer and shorter head plumes, throat white, neck and breast whitish, bill horn; immature similar, but after shedding striped head and neck, head without any white plumes; bill pinkish with dark ridge.
Australia and Tasmania, recently also locally on South Island, New Zealand.
Mainly semi-permanent open swamps with relatively little floating vegetation, but also on open temporary ponds. In drought years non-breeders congregate in permanent wetlands and coastal lagoons.
Gregarious, even when feeding. Semi-nomadic, sometimes appearing suddenly in groups of up to ten thousand.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds within 6.6 ft (2 m) of surface, almost entirely on small arthropods, fish consituting less than 3% of diet.
Courtship display poorly developed. Nest fairly exposed, but inaccessible, in colonies with up to 400 nests. Single-brooded. Eggs 3–5.
Not threatened and locally common. Population may exceed half a million.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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