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Avian Urban Ecology$
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Diego Gil and Henrik Brumm

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661572

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199661572.001.0001

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Wild bird feeding (probably) affects avian urban ecology

Wild bird feeding (probably) affects avian urban ecology

(p.29) Chapter 3 Wild bird feeding (probably) affects avian urban ecology
Avian Urban Ecology

Valentin Amrhein

Oxford University Press

Wild bird feeding may be the most widespread and popular form of human-wildlife interaction throughout the world. In the urban backyards and gardens of the world, there are millions of bird feeders alongside millions of nestboxes. This chapter highlights important findings on the effects of food supplementation on avian ecology. Food supply clearly influences bird numbers both in winter and during the breeding season, and feeding short-lived passerines can alter almost every aspect of their ecology, from reproductive parameters to behaviour and distribution. Because providing supplementary food is so easily done, manipulating food supply was a method of choice in many areas of research. The chapter distinguishes between results obtained from rural or natural study sites and from studies in urban habitats. It identifies study questions and methods that are worth considering. Finally, it discusses possible reasons why there is so little research on bird feeding in cities and give examples what could be done to change that.

Keywords:   wild birds, feeding, food supplementation, avian ecology, food supply

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