Food limitation during breeding in a heterogeneous landscape


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 replicated, controlled, randomized paired study of 15-16 nest-box colonies of starling Sturnus vulgaris in 1998-1999 in southern Sweden (Granbom & Smith 2006) found that food supplementation increased growth and survival of nestlings. Greater availability of pasture also increased survival, but tended to have a smaller effect. Fledging success increased with supplemental feeding and local availability of pasture (<10% pasture: fed 0.92, unfed 0.80; >10% pasture: fed 1.0, unfed 0.95). Nestling growth (tarsus length) was significantly higher following supplemental feeding, but was not affected by habitat (<10% pasture: fed 32.2 mm, unfed 32.8 mm; >10% pasture: fed 32.6 mm, unfed 32.9 mm). Feather growth rate showed the same pattern. There was no effect on chick condition and no interactions between effects of habitat and feeding. Colonies were over 1 km apart and each comprised eight boxes. Nest boxes were visited to determine clutch size, hatching date, fledging success and to band (day 1) and measure (day 10 and 14) nestlings. Agricultural land-use was classified in a radius of 500 m around each colony. On the day of hatching, two broods with similar clutch size were matched from different habitat classes and were randomly selected to receive supplemental food or not. From the fourth day after hatching, half of the breeding pairs were given a bowl containing 84 g of mealworm larvae twice daily (1998-1999).


Output references
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