Podiceps minor, Gm.
975. :- P. philippensis, Gm. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 822; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 31; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 430; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 312; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 138,
THE LITTLE GREBE OR DABCHICK.
Length, 8 to 9; wing, 4 ; tarsus, 1.25 ; bill at front, 0.75.
Bill blackish, paler at base; irides red-brown ; legs greenish-black on the outside, livid tinged with fleshy within.
Head, above, and the back of the neck, dark sepia-brown, or black tinged with green ; upper plumage generally glossy brown-black tinged with green ; the sides of the rump fulvous ; quills more or less white at the base; the first six quills almost all pale brown; secondaries with only a little brown on the outer webs; chin and base of the lower mandible glossy black; cheeks, ear-coverts, and sides of the neck, bright chesnut; breast brown, mixed with whitish or glossy blackish-grey; belly silky-white, the flanks brown.
Young birds want the chesnut red on the neck, which is mostly white, the brown above is paler, and the chin and throat are pure white.
The Little Grebe or Dabchick is a common permanent resident throughout the region, breeding towards the end of the monsoon.
The nest is a mass of weeds and rushes, resting on the water. The eggs when fresh are pure white, but soon become discolored, owing to the habit the bird has of covering them with wet weeds every time she leaves the nest. The eggs are moderately broad ovals, pointed at each end. They are slightly chalky in texture and have rarely much gloss. They measure 1.39 inches in length by about 1 inch in breadth.