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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Nest material supplementation is collected preferentially on platforms over open water by egrets

Published source details

Baxter G.S. (1996) Provision of supplementary nest material to colonial egrets. Emu, 96, 145-150


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

Provide nesting material for wild birds Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study from September-January in 1989-1990 in 6 experimental and 3 control plots in a wetland in New South Wales, Australia (Baxter 1996) found that four species of egret (great white egret Ardea alba, intermediate egret A. intermedia, little egret Egretta garzetta and cattle egret A. ibis) collected supplementary nest material preferentially from raised platforms over water than from plots on dry land. At all locations over nineteen weeks there was a strong preference for material presented on platforms compared with that presented in supplementation plots (80% compared < 20% of supplementary sticks respectively). The author suggests that nest material supplementation may reduce tree defoliation and lead to enhanced breeding success through fewer eggs and chicks falling out and greater thermal insulation. Sticks (0.3-2 cm diameter, 15-40 cm in length) were provided weekly on 2 x 1.3 m platforms over water and 2 m2 plots on dry land. Control plots (2 m2, 5-15 m away from