Shakespeare called it a ‘dive-dapper’


Dabchick Sculpture

Dabchick sculpture carved in Yorkstone – 10″ x 6″ x 5 1/2″

I know this bird as a Dabchick, or Little Grebe – a chubby diving waterbird whose habitat of marshes, ponds and lakes supply all the insects, molluscs, tadpoles, small fish and reptiles that it can eat.

They’re birds that tend to stay hidden in the reeds and vegetation, but when I’ve seen them, (and they’ve seen me), out on open water they’ve made a quick dive, disappearing in a flash, to suddenly reappear, bobbing up in a completely different place some distance away.

I find them very appealing birds, and their behaviour utterly captivating.  Dive-dapper does suit them, doesn’t it?

‘Upon this promise did he raise his chin
Like a dive-dapper appearing through a wave
Who, being look’d on, ducks as quickly in’


William Shakespeare from Venus and Adonis





  1. Comment by Caroline:

    And, I read, it is rare to find a bird’s name (in this case ‘dabchick’) with a-b-c in consecutive order! A beautiful sculpture, Jennifer, and a lovely post.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Aha – another reason why it is a special bird! (of course now I’ll be looking at all bird names for alphabetic alignment!) Thanks so much Caroline

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