Caging as a technique for rearing wild passerine birds

  • Published source details Hamel R. & McClean I.G. (1989) Caging as a technique for rearing wild passerine birds. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 53, 852-856.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers or provide shelters for chicks of songbirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers or provide shelters for chicks of songbirds

    A small, replicated and controlled study between 1984 and 1988 in northern South Island and Little Barrier Island, New Zealand (Hamel & McClean 1989) found that moving chicks from natural nests into caged artificial nests appeared to increase fledging success in rifleman Acanthisitta chloris (5% of 44 caged chicks died; 94% natural nests destroyed by predators), whitehead Mohoua albicilla (none of 10 caged chicks died; an estimated 0.68 chicks/successful natural nest died, n = 41 nests) , grey gerygone (warbler) Gerygone igata (13% mortality for 15 caged chicks; 33% for nine uncaged chicks) and shining bronze-cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus (Chalcites lucidus) (both caged chicks survived, one uncaged chick died, number of uncaged chicks was not given). In addition, a single chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (an introduced species) was caged and survived. In 1987-88, all chicks from one of six caged grey fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa nests died, whereas no uncaged nests were lost. Cages were made of wire-mesh, stretched to ensure that food could be passed through by the parents but that birds’ heads could not be caught.


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