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 following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase reproductive success

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase reproductive success

    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.


Output references

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, terrestrial 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