Study

Altering perceived predation risk and food availability: management prescriptions to benefit farmland birds on stubble fields

  • Published source details Whittingham M.J., Devereux C.L., Evans A.D. & Bradbury R.B. (2006) Altering perceived predation risk and food availability: management prescriptions to benefit farmland birds on stubble fields. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 640-650

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave overwinter stubbles

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Leave overwinter stubbles

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Leave overwinter stubbles

    A small randomised site comparison study in winter 2004-5 in central England (Whittingham et al. 2006) found that seed-eating songbirds and invertebrate-feeding birds were found at higher density on sections of fields where stubble had been cut short (642 seed-eaters and 1,207 invertebrate-feeders recorded on cut stubble plots vs. 364 and 415 on cut stubble). Eurasian skylarks Alavda arvenis, partridges, pigeons Columba spp., and meadow pipits Anthus pratensis were at higher densities in areas of uncut stubble (241 skylarks, 100 partridges, 37 pigeons and 81 meadow pipits on uncut plots vs. 27, 7, 12 and 9 on cut plots). In addition, skylarks and invertebrate feeders were found at higher densities on scarified (i.e. lightly tilled) sections of fields than control (unscarified) sections (339 skylarks and 1371 invertebrate feeders on scarified plots vs. 241 and 251 on controls). The stubble on one half of each field was cut in the winter of 2004-2005 before the fields were surveyed between December 2004 and March 2005.

     

  2. Leave overwinter stubbles

    A small randomized site-comparison study in winter 2004-2005 in central England (Whittingham et al. 2006) found that seed-eating songbirds and invertebrate-feeding birds were found at higher densities on sections of fields where stubble had been cut short (404 seed-eating birds and 244 invertebrate-feeding birds recorded on uncut stubble plots vs 77 and seven on cut stubble). Eurasian skylark Alauda arvenis, partridges (Phasianidae), pigeons Columba spp., and meadow pipit Anthus pratensis were found at higher densities in areas of uncut stubble (241 skylark, 100 partridges, 37 pigeons and 81 meadow pipit on uncut plots vs 27, 7, 12 and 9 on cut plots). In addition, skylarks and invertebrate-feeders were found at higher densities on scarified (i.e. lightly tilled) sections of fields than control (unscarified) sections (339 skylarks and 1,371 invertebrate feeders on scarified plots vs 241 and 251 on controls). The stubble on one half of each field was cut in the winter of 2004-2005 (late December-early February) before the fields were surveyed between December 2004 and March 2005.

     

Output references

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