Study

Breeding bird response to field border presence and width

  • Published source details Conover R.R., Burger L.W. Jr. & Linder E.T. (2009) Breeding bird response to field border presence and width. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology (formerly The Wilson Bulletin), 121, 548-555.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields for birds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields for birds

    A replicated controlled study in May and June 2003-4 on six arable farms in Mississippi, USA (Conover et al. 2009), found that there were significantly more farmland bird species in bordered field margins, compared to unbordered margins (approximately 5 species/ha for 35 bordered margins vs. 0.5 species/ha for 21 unbordered margins). There were higher densities of farmland birds on margins and crops for fields with wide borders (35 birds/ha for 7-11 wide borders and 27-29 birds/ha for adjacent cropland), compared with narrow margins (18 birds/ha for 24-27 narrow borders and 13-15 birds/ha for cropland) or fields without borders (3 birds/ha for 21 unbordered margins and 1-9 birds/ha for cropland). Four species (red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus, dickcissel Spiza americana, northern cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis, indigo bunting Passerina cyanea) were significantly more abundant on bordered margins. Borders consisted of strips either 6-12 m (narrow) or 20-56 m (wide) around arable fields and planted in spring 2002 with grasses and legumes. If non-native species were dominant, the borders were also treated with selective herbicide.

     

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust