PARTRIDGE

Winter feeding important for farmland wildlife

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - Published by Paul Stephens
Supplementary feeding during the winter months is a key part of the PARTRIDGE project. It is particularly important during the winter months when food is scare and the temperature drops.

At one of our Scottish demonstration sites, Balgonie, there are nearly 30 feeders placed around the site, providing farmland wildlife with an additional source of food, in our case wheat.

To monitor what type of wildlife our feeders attracted, trail cameras were placed next to many of the feeders and monitored for several weeks.  The results were very encouraging, with nearly 20 species of birds and 5 species of mammals caught on camera.  These ranged from Wrens to Grey partridge and even Sparrowhawks.  The diversity of species photographed illustrates how important feeders are to all farmland wildlife and confirms the significant role they play in providing extra food during the winter months, especially now as alternative sources of food are depleted in the notorious ‘Hungry Gap.’

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Blackbird enjoying a bath on a feeder

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Brown hare keeping watch

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Robin searching for food

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Roe deer herd

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Weasel (circled)

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Yellowhammer foraging in the snow

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Sparrowhawk using feeder as a perch

By Fiona Torrance