Comparison of spring and summer clutches of Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus)

Keywords: egg, Great Crested Grebe, nest, fishpond, habitat


The intensively farmed fishponds of the Třeboň Basin in South Bohemia, Czech Republic host a substantial number Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) pairs that nest later than the expected spring season and instead in summer, which may be associated with fishpond farming. A two-factor nested ANOVA of Great Crested Grebe egg and clutch characteristics showed no differences between spring (May-June) and summer (July - August) seasonal clutches. High egg total volume in spring nests was significantly related to both decreasing distance between nests and decreasing number of nests on the fishpond. The increase of total egg volume in summer nests was significantly related to the distance to the edge of littoral vegetation. There is no substantial difference between spring and summer egg characteristics, but total egg volume in spring nests is dependent on other characteristics that those in summer nests.