TOO EARLY FOR THESE TO NEST?
During some birding in a local nature reserve in early January, I was astounded to see a Great Crested Grebe swim over to what looked like a nest, then uncover three eggs and settle down to incubate. This was one of the resident pair on the pond, who I’ve been keeping tabs on since last summer, when I was glad to see them raise four young. How unusual is it for these birds to be nesting so early? The reserve is in a suburban area (on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium). Alicia Mottur, via email
QAt the time you saw this, it was indeed early in the year for Great Crested Grebes to be nesting and incubating eggs. Usually the species begins its breeding season in February at the earliest, but as you say, the warmer temperatures in urban and suburban areas can lead to some species breeding earlier than they would otherwise. We’re assuming that Belgium has experienced a warmer than average winter, just as we have in the UK, and that in turn would contribute to an early breeding season.
AGreat Crested Grebes
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