Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Supplementary feeding may increase incubation attentiveness in silvereyes Zosterops lateralis in New Zealand scrubland

Published source details

Barnett C.A. & Briskie J.V. (2010) Silvereyes Zosterops lateralis increase incubation attentiveness in response to increased food availability. Ibis, 152, 169-172


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 reproductive success Bird Conservation

A randomised, replicated cross-over experiment in scrubland on South Island, New Zealand in austral spring 2000-1 (Barnett & Briskie 2010) found that on a day when they were provided with supplementary food, silvereyes Zosterops lateralis spent significantly longer incubating and had shorter periods away from the nest, compared to a day when they were not provided with food (adults on fed days spent approximately 94% of time incubating and periods off the nest averaged one minute vs. approximately 84% of time on nests and 3.5 minute periods off the nest, ten nests). However, feeding did not increase the length of individual incubation bouts, or the number of times parents left the nests each hour (longest incubation bouts averaged 39.6 mins when fed vs. 34.1 mins when unfed, ten nests; parents leaving nests an average of 2 times/min when fed vs. 2.3 times/min when unfed, seven nests). Supplementary food consisted of beef fat and sugar mixed and provided in pine cones on one of two experimental days and not provided on the other. No data is provided on the breeding success consequences of feeding.