Timed Watches of Feeding Birds

We wanted to find out which birds feed on which berries and how efficient they are at handling the different types of berry. This was done by watching a bird as it feeds and recording what it eats and how it interacts with other feeding birds.

Participants selected one of the shrubs in their garden, noted down a few details about it and then settled down to watch what happened. When a bird arrived to feed, the time was noted, and the bird was watched, with a tally of the number of berries that it attempts to take (regardless of outcome) and the number it actually ate recorded. Additional behaviours and how the visit ended were also noted. The process for other birds visiting the shrub was also recorded (try to get a representative sample of the different visitors), either on the same day or on other days throughout the winter.

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