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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Growing crops to provide food for seed-eating farmland birds in winter

Published source details

Boatman N.D. & Stoate C. (2002) Growing crops to provide food for seed-eating farmland birds in winter. Aspects of Applied Biology, 67, 229-236


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

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture Farmland Conservation

A replicated, randomized study from 1998 to 2000 of annual and biennial crops in Norfolk, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire, UK (Boatman & Stoate 2002) found that bird species tended to use a variety of crops. Yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella used mainly cereals. Greenfinch Carduelis chloris tended to use borage Borago officinalis, sunflowers Helianthus spp. and mustard Brassica juncea. Crops used by several bird species included kale Brassica oleracea, quinoa Chenopodium quinoa, fat hen Chenopodium album and linseed Linum usitatissimum. Buckwheat Fagopyron esculentum was used a small amount and, apart from greenfinch, few others used sunflower or borage. Crops were sown in a randomized block design with three replicates at each of the three farms. Plots were 20 or 50 m x either 12 or 16 m. Numbers of birds feeding in, or flushed from, each plot were recorded before 11:00 at weekly intervals from October-March 1998-2000.

 

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture Bird Conservation

A replicated, randomised study of annual and biennial crops over three years in Norfolk, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire, UK (Boatman & Stoate 2002), found that bird species tended to use a variety of cover crops, but whereas yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella used mainly cereals, greenfinches Carduelis chloris tended to use borage, sunflowers and mustard.  Crops used by several species included kale, quinoa, fathen and linseed.  Buckwheat was used a small amount, and apart from greenfinch, few others used sunflower or borage.  Crops were sown in a randomised block design with three replicates at each of the three farms.  Plots sizes were 20 or 50 m x 12 or 16 m.  Numbers of birds feeding in, or flushed from each plot were recorded before 11:00 at weekly intervals from October-March 1998-2000.