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Whitethroat Sylvia communis and Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella nesting success and breeding distribution in relation to field boundary vegetation

Bird Study


Field boundary characteristics influencing territory establishment and nesting success of Whitethroats and Yellowhammers on farmland in Leicestershire were investigated. Hedge height had a negative influence on the presence of breeding Whitethroats. The abundance of herbaceous vegetation in field boundaries had a positive influence on both species. The relationship was strongest for Whitethroats which nested almost exclusively in herbaceous vegetation. Nesting success of Whitethroats was higher than that of Yellowhammers. Yellowhammer nests in hedges were more susceptible to predation than those ill herbaceous vegetation. Maintaining low hedges and establishing uncut 2-m strips of perennial herbaceous vegetation in field boundaries would contribute to tire conservation of Whitethroats and Yellowhammers on farmland.

Author(s): Stoate, C; Szczur, J

Journal: Bird Study

Year: 2001