Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feeders & Breeders

In a surprise, extra birdfeed produces fewer chicks.

From Conservation Magazine: That tube of seed in your backyard may not necessarily be helping prop up bird populations. In an unexpected result, British researchers found that feeding some birds through the breeding season actually reduced reproduction rates. The finding could have implications for efforts to aid endangered species by supplementing their diet.

Researchers have been studying the impact of bird feeding on wild populations for decades. Few studies, however, have looked at how long-term feeding affects reproduction. To find out, a team led by S. James Reynolds of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom decided to offer free food to birds living in the Chaddesley Woods National Nature Reserve, a 101-hectare woodland in Worcestershire.

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