A method of food supplementation for ground-foraging insectivorous songbirds

  • Published source details Podolsky A.L., Simons T.R. & Collazo J.A. (2004) A method of food supplementation for ground-foraging insectivorous songbirds. Journal of Field Ornithology, 75, 296-302.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase adult survival

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for songbirds to increase adult survival

    A replicated study in mountain forests in Tennessee, USA, in 1999-2001 (Podolsky et al. 2004) found that 92% of 24 breeding pairs of ovenbirds Seiurus aurocapilla and 79% of 38 wood thrush Hylocichla mustelina pairs fed on live mealworm Tenebrio monitor larvae from feeding stations consisting of moss placed over overhead projector film (clear plastic film) and placed on the ground near nests (6-12 m away from wood thrush nests, 3-6 m from ovenbird nests). Mealworms could burrow into the moss to avoid desiccation but could not escape because of the film. Previous work showed that birds avoided artificial feeders such as bowls and baskets, but removed 70-100% of mealworms within four hours from moss. Food was provided daily and nests were monitored for six (ovenbird) or eight (wood thrush) days.


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