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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Winter supplementary feeding appears to make up a significant proportion of black-capped chickadees' Parus atricapillus diets in deciduous forests in Wisconsin, USA

Published source details

Brittingham M.C. & Temple S.A. (1992) Use of winter bird feeders by black-capped chickadees. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 56, 103-110

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Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase adult survival Bird Conservation

A small study in two deciduous forest sites in Wisconsin, USA, in the winters of 1983-5 (Brittingham & Temple 1992) found that approximately 83 black-capped chickadees Parus atricapillus used two feeders providing sunflower seeds each day throughout winter, and obtained approximately 21% of their daily energy requirements from them. Birds with home territories nearer the feeders used it more than more distant birds, and more bird used the feeders (and fed at a higher rate) in the evening (an average of 39 chickadees using the feeders within two hours of sunset vs. 17 within two hours of sunrise and 36 at midday). Feeders were used the most in autumn and least in spring, with temperature not affecting feeder use. Feeders were monitored for 15 days over the two winters.