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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Provide supplementary food for kingfishers to increase reproductive success Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A controlled study in the USA found that belted kingfisher Ceryle alcyon supplied with food had heavier nestlings and were more likely to renest. There was mixed evidence for the effect of feeding on laying date.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A controlled study of breeding pairs of belted kingfisher Ceryle alcyon in Colorado, USA (Kelly & Van Horne 1997), found that birds that nested earlier had heavier nestlings and were more likely to renest in the event of nest failure.  In 1994 and 1995, food supplementation from early in the prebreeding season (8 March) was associated with earlier nest initiation.  However, no supplemented nests occurred earlier than the earliest nests in 1992, in which there had been no feeding stations.   A smaller amount of food started later in the season (20 April) in the previous year had been without effect.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Bird Conservation. Pages 141-290 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.