Grebe Nesting Colonies

In 2012 the San Diego County Water Authority in conjunction with San Diego Gas and Electric and the City of San Diego put into operation a pump station capable of pumping large volumes of water to and from the adjacent and newly built Olivenhain reservoir to the west of Lake Hodges. The water level is now relatively consistent.

However, with a 12’ diameter pipeline, the pump station can pump the equivalent of 1 swimming pool’s worth of water per second. This has led to fast, irregular and large fluctuations in lake depth, as much as 18” in one 24 hour period. For most of the year, this does not adversely affect wildlife. However, Grebe nesting has been drastically affected. One of 3 scenarios is causing the colonies to fail. Once nests are built and eggs laid;


  1. The water level rises too quickly and the eggs are drowned.

  1. The water level drops too quickly and nests anchored in previously submerged brush are too high above the water for the birds to return. Unlike ducks and some other water fowl, Grebes cannot make a vertical hop.

  1. The water level drops too quickly and the nests end up beached, so are abandoned by the parents.


I am currently trying to address these issues. If you’d like to be notified on my progress please send me your email contact details. Thanks for you interest.

2021 Grebe Nesting Report

This is a detailed report of the most recent Grebe nesting event of the 2021 season.

Local Accommodation

Recommended rentals in the Del Dios and surrounding community on Lake Hodges.

Springhill Suits

by Marriott | 7 min. drive entrance to Lake

Rancho Bernardo

Inn | 16 min. drive entrance to Lake

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