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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bird feeders placed in higher locations attract more American goldfinches Carduelis tristis

Published source details

Dunn E.H. & Hussell J.A.T. (1991) Goldfinch preferences for bird feeder location. Journal of Field Ornithology, 62, 256-259


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 adult survival Bird Conservation

A replicated study from January-March in 1990 in one suburban garden garden in Ontario, Canada, using four bird tube feeders placed in different locations in Ontario, Canada (Dunn & Hussell 1991), found that American goldfinches Carduelis tristis preferred bird feeders that were placed in higher locations. The number of birds and the amount of food removed were significantly higher for the upper feeder (6.1 m) than the lower feeder (3.4 m) (average 75% birds seen and 67% food removed from high feeder). There was no preference for feeders placed in trees or in the open (both 2.4 m from the ground), although there was a much greater proportion of unexplained variation in the side-by-side experiment than in the height experiment. All tube feeders contained small black oil sunflower seeds. A flock of 15-30 goldfinches used the test feeders daily. Feeders were switched at the end of each trial (3 replicates each).