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Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 5 (1901).djvu/185

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THE ZOOLOGIST

 

 

No. 719.—May, 1901.

 

 

AN OBSERVATIONAL DIARY OF THE HABITS—
MOSTLY DOMESTIC—OF THE GREAT CRESTED
GREBE (PODICIPES CRISTATUS).

By Edmund Selous.

 

April 27th, 1900.—I noticed to-day a pair of these birds swimming about together on a large sheet of water some miles from where I live. I did not then, through the glasses, see anything resembling a nest.

May 3rd.—This morning one of the birds is sitting upon a large structure of weeds which I imagine to be the finished nest. It would seem, however, that some touches are added even after incubation—or, at least, the laying of the eggs—has commenced, for now the other bird is swimming to the nest, and, when within a little distance of it, dives, and, coming up with some weeds in its bill, lays them at the edge of it. He then swims out to the same place, dives again, and returns with some more; and this he does five times in succession. I now go nearer, and, though I am still a considerable distance off, the bird upon the nest leaves it and swims away. I sit down against a tree, and she soon returns, and, giving a long lithe leap out of the water on to the mass of weeds, again settles herself down upon it. She sits quietly, and must certainly be either incubating or in process of laying the eggs. Yet every now and then she bends the head forward, and with the beak arranges, or at least moves about, the

Zool. 4th ser. vol. V., May, 1901.
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