Berry Availability Study
We wanted to know which plants produce berries at different times throughout the winter and for how long berries remain available. Participants kept a simple weekly record of which plants in their gardens had berries and which birds were seen feeding on them.
What was done?
The recording form to used record the berry-producing bushes, shrubs and trees in the garden, about berry availability on the plants identified and about the bird species that were seen to use them.
PART A - Berry-producing plants
This part of the form was used to tell us about the berry-producing bushes, shrubs and trees present at the above address. We wanted to know about each different type of berry-producing plant present in the garden, one per box (below). If participants had several individuals of the same plant or variety of plant (e.g. six Rowan trees or a Hawthorn hedge) then they only needed to complete one box.
PART B - Berry availability throughout the winter
This part of the form was used to tell us about berry availabilty for each of the plants. Participants were asked to keep a record for each week, noting the presence of Unripe and Ripe berries. If there were more than 30 unripe or 30 ripe berries on the bush then they entered a mark in the corresponding box.
PART C - Berry use by birds throughout the winter
This part of the form was used to tell us which thrushes were seen taking berries from specific plant species. Only Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare were looked at.
Citizen Science in Shetland
BTO volunteer Hugh Tooby shares his journey through Shetland as part of the Upland Rovers scheme.