Historical information

The Red-Necked Grebe is a medium sized bird with a long neck and pointed bill. During the non-breeding months, this bird has grey, white and brown plumage. During the breeding seasons, the Red-necked Grebe has a rusty red coloured fore-neck and breast with a black bill and white cheeks. This species can be located in freshwater lakes of the northern hemisphere.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum and the National Museum of Victoria, as well as individuals such amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

A Red-Necked Grebe of medium size stylised in a standing position with the face positioned forward. The bird stands on a wooden pedestal with two tags around its legs. One tag is paper and documents cataloguing information and the second is metal and lists the number 4492. This Red-Necked Grebe has pale feathers of white, grey and browns typical of this species in the non-breeding months. The face is positioned towards the front and the small eyes are made from dark glass.

Inscriptions & markings

Paper tag: 32a Red-necked Grebe Catalogue, Page, 43. Metal tag: 4492