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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Tree sparrowsPasser montanus prefer nest sites closer to wetlands than farmlands but not necessarily those with supplementary food

Published source details

Field R.H. & Anderson G.Q.A. (2004) Habitat use by breeding tree sparrows Passer montanus. Ibis, 146, 60-68


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

Provide nest boxes for birds Farmland Conservation

A replicated, paired site study from March-August in 2000-2003 in 20 paired nest box groups (10 placed along wetland edges and 10 in farmland) in Rutland, England (Field & Anderson 2004) found that tree sparrow Passer montanus showed a significant preference for nest boxes in wetland habitat, compared to those in farmland sites (eight wetland nest boxes colonized vs no farmland sites). Nest box groups consisted of five nest boxes placed 2-20 apart. Sunflower seeds were randomly provided to one nest box group within each pair.

 

 

Provide supplementary food for birds or mammals Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled paired site study from March-August in 2000-2003 in 20 paired nest box groups (10 placed along wetland edges and 10 in farmlands) in Rutland, England (Field & Anderson 2004) found that tree sparrow Passer montanus showed no preference for nest boxes supplied with supplementary food (four fed boxes colonized vs four unfed). There was no difference in the number of nesting attempts made by birds with or without supplementary food although the mean clutch size was significantly higher in nests closer to supplementary food (5.6 compared to 5.0 eggs/clutch). The authors point out that the small spatial scale of the study (1 km between pairs) may have confounded any effect of supplementary feeding. Nest box groups consisted of five nest boxes placed 2-20 apart. Sunflower seeds were randomly provided to one nest box group within each pair.

Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase reproductive success Bird Conservation

A replicated and controlled paired site study from March-August in 2000-2003 in 20 paired nest box groups (10 placed along wetland edges and 10 in farmlands) in Rutland, England (Field & Anderson 2004) found that tree sparrows Passer montanus showed no preference for nest boxes supplied with supplementary food (four fed boxes colonised vs. four unfed). There was no difference in the number of nesting attempts made by birds with or without supplementary food although the mean clutch size was significantly higher in nests closer to supplementary food (5.6 compared to 5.0 eggs / clutch). The authors point out that the small spatial scale of the study (1 km between pairs) may have confounded any effect of supplementary feeding. Nest box groups consisted of 5 nest boxes placed 2-20 m apart; sunflower seeds were randomly provided to one nest box group within each pair.

Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds Bird Conservation

A replicated, paired site study from March-August in 2000-2003 in 20 paired nest box groups (10 placed along wetland edges and 10 in farmlands) in Rutland, England (Field & Anderson 2004) found that tree sparrows Passer montanus showed a significant preference for nest boxes in wetland habitat, compared to those in farmland sites (eight wetland nest boxes colonised vs. no farmland sites). Nest box groups consisted of 5 nest boxes placed 2-20 apart; sunflower seeds were randomly provided to one nest box group within each pair, with the results discussed in ‘Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success’.