Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Egg-Covering Behaviour by Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1989
Journal:Ornis Scandinavica
Date Published:1989
ISBN Number:00305693
Keywords:Fulica, Fulica atra, Podiceps, Podiceps cristatus, Podicipedidae, Rallidae, Switzerland
Abstract:Incubating Great Crested Grebes cover their eggs with nest material before leaving the nest due to disturbance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the frequency of this behaviour and to test experimentally its effectiveness in protecting the eggs from predators during the absence of the incubating grebe from the nest. Great Crested Grebes on Gerzensee, a small lake in Switzerland, covered their eggs with nest material in 88% of all observations. Experiments with small hen's eggs placed in abandoned grebe nests showed that covering the eggs with nest material protects them effectively from the main predator, the Coot Fulica atra.
Short Title:Ornis Scandinavica
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith