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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of distance from vegetation cover on feeder usage by garden birds in the Cyncoed area of Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales

Published source details

Cowie R.J. & Simons J.R. (1991) Factors affecting the use of feeders by garden birds: I. The positioning of feeders with respect to cover and housing. Bird Study, 38, 145-150

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase adult survival Bird Conservation

Two studies in gardens in Cardiff, south Wales, in January-February 1988 and February-April 1989 (Cowie & Simons 1991) found that distance to both cover (a dense hedgerow) and housing had significant effects on rate of consumption of supplementary food by five songbird species. At a single site, as distance from cover increased, the proportion of food consumed decreased (32% consumed when the feeder was next to the hedge, 28% at 2.5 m away, 23% at 5 m and 17% at 7.5 m), with a greater impact on house sparrows Passer domesticus and blue tits Parus caeruleus than on greenfinches Carduelis chloris. Overall consumption increased with distance from housing in three other sites (34% of food consumed when three feeders were 10 m from housing, 25% at 7.5 m, 25% at 5 m, and 16% at 2.5 m), however this effect varied between species. Siskins C. spinus used all feeders equally; greenfinch use increased with distance from housing and house sparrows used feeders closest to the houses most frequently. Supplementary food consisted of 250 g of peanuts supplied each day.