Effects of supplementary food provision on local abundance of black-capped chickadees Poecile atricapillus wintering near Flagstaff Lake, Maine, USA
Published source details
Wilson W.H. Jr. (2001) The effects of supplemental feeding on wintering black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapilla) in central Maine: population and individual responses. Wilson Bulletin, 113, 65-72
Published source details Wilson W.H. Jr. (2001) The effects of supplemental feeding on wintering black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapilla) in central Maine: population and individual responses. Wilson Bulletin, 113, 65-72
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase adult survivalAction Link
Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase adult survival
A randomised, replicated and controlled study in coniferous woods along a road in Maine, USA (Wilson 2001) found that significantly more black-capped chickadees Parus carolinensis (also known as Poecile carolinensis) were recorded during censuses at four sites fed continuously from late October 1995 to mid-March 1996, compared to at four unfed control sites (average of 5.5 birds/census for fed sites vs. 0.1 birds/census for controls, 18 censuses at each). Sites provided with food from October until January (early-fed sites) had significantly higher chickadee numbers than those fed from January until March (late-fed sites), with both being lower than continuously-fed sites and higher than controls (average of 1.8 birds/census and a maximum of approximately 5 birds/census for early fed vs. average of 0.1 birds/census and maximum of 3.0 birds/census for late-fed, 18 censuses at each). Chickadee numbers declined at early-fed sites when feeders were removed and increased at late-fed when feeders were established. No such patterns were seen at control or continuously-fed sites. Birds took longer to discover feeders at late-fed sites, compared to those supplied from October (all feeders at both continuously- and early-fed sites discovered within 15 days, a maximum of 33 days before the last feeder was discovered in late-fed sites). Feeding consisted of two feeders at each site refilled every week with black oil sunflower seeds.