Study

Seed food preferences of granivorous farmland passerines

  • Published source details Perkins A.J., Anderson G. & Wilson J.D. (2007) Seed food preferences of granivorous farmland passerines. Bird Study, 54, 46-53

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for birds or mammals

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for birds or mammals

    A series of randomized, replicated trials at two sites in England in the winters of 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 (Perkins et al. 2007) found that five songbird species took supplementary food when provided and preferentially took wheat over oats and oats over barley. Tree sparrow Passer montanus and reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus also fed on maize, preferring it to all cereals except wheat, whilst house sparrow P. domesticus preferred maize to all cereals. Corn bunting E. calandra and yellowhammer E. citrinella preferred all cereals to maize. Tree sparrow selected both cereals and oily seeds (e.g. sunflower seeds, oilseed rape) but avoided rye grass seed. All species preferred cereals to sunflower seeds and none showed any distinction between wheat and a ‘weed seed mix’. At one site, food was provided in tubular feeders, in the other it was heaped on the ground. Survival rates of birds were not monitored.

     

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