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Individual study: Oven birds Seiurus aurocapilla and wood thrushes Hylocichla mustelina take mealworms from specially designed feeders in mountain forests in Tennessee, USA

Published source details

Podolsky A.L., Simons T.R. & Collazo J.A. (2004) A Method of Food Supplementation for Ground-Foraging Insectivorous Songbirds / Método para suplementar con alimentos aves insectívoras que forrajean en los suelos. Journal of Field Ornithology, 75, 296-302


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 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.