We present results on breeding parameters, nesting performance and nest habitat selection of the globally threatened Great Bustard Otis tarda, gathered during a 3-year study in Castro Verde (southern Portugal). A total of 107 nests were located. The estimated average onset of laying was 22 April (SD = 12 days, n = 8). The incubation period ranged from 25 March to 15 June. Nearly 95% of females incubated between 1 April and 31 May. Mean clutch size was 2.12 (SD = 0.69, n = 86), showing no significant inter-annual differences. There was no significant relationship between clutch size and average nest finding date, although, on average, nests were found later each year. Hatching occurred between 21 April and 26 June. The estimated proportion of eggs hatched per nest (hatching percentage) was 87.5% in 2002 (n = 8), 64.0% in 2003 (n = 33) and 75.8% in 2004 (n = 33). Overall nesting success for the three years was 71% (n = 107). The main causes of nesting failure were agricultural activities, mainly ploughing and harvesting, followed by corvid predation. Nests were spatially aggregated up to 800–1,500 m. At larger scales, the spatial distribution of nests can be considered random or uniform. Females showed a clear preference for nesting in cereal fields, followed by young fallows, old fallows, ploughed fields and then other habitats, although the intensity of selection of particular habitats varied between years. Nests were associated with both cereals and fallows, thus aggregating where those habitat types occurred within the study area. These results provide the first complete description of the nesting process in a Great Bustard population, as well as important cues to the assessment of conservation measures implemented in Castro Verde, an area holding around 80% of the Portuguese population of this species (application of EU agri-environmental schemes, power line signalling, water-point provision in dry years).