Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: White wading birds preferentially land and feed in ponds with white flamingo decoys in Florida, USA

Published source details

Crozier G.E. & Gawlik D.E. (2003) The use of decoys as a research tool for attracting wading birds. Journal of Field Ornithology, 74, 53-58


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Use decoys to attract birds to safe areas Bird Conservation

A randomised, replicated and controlled study on a wetland site in Florida in autumn 1997 (Crozier & Gawlik 2003) found that wading birds (mainly white ibis Eudocimus albus and herons, Ardeidae) were more attracted to ponds with white plastic flamingo decoys than to ponds with Texas rag decoys (91 x 91 cm white plastic sheet knotted and on a 122 cm dowel rod) or control ponds with no decoys. Ponds with Tyvek® bag decoys (envelopes stuffed with paper and mounted on a 122 cm dowel rod) were intermediate and not significantly different from the other treatments (approximately 3 birds/pond with flamingos vs. 1.8 birds/pond for Tyvek® bags, 0.6 birds/pond for Texas rag and 1.1 birds/pond for controls). These differences were due to differences in the behaviour of white wading birds – there were no significant differences for dark wading birds. Experiments were conducted over five days, with eight ponds used each day (two for each treatment).