Sexes alike. India’s smallest waterbird, squat and tailless. Plumage silky and compact; dark brown above; white in-flight feathers; white abdomen. Breeding: chestnut sides of head, neck and throat; black chin; blackish-brown crown and hind-neck. Winter: white chin; brown crown and hind-neck; rufous neck. Purely aquatic; seen singly or in small, scattered groups, often diving and swimming beneath the surface.
village tanks, deep jheels, lakes, reservoirs.
aquatic insects, frogs, crustaceans
subcontinent, up to 2,000m in Kashmir. Resident in most areas.
shrill trilling notes and an occasional click.