Agricultural intensification and the timing of breeding of Corn Buntings Miliaria calandra

Brickle, N W and Harper, D G C (2002) Agricultural intensification and the timing of breeding of Corn Buntings Miliaria calandra. Bird Study, 49 (3). pp. 219-228. ISSN 0006-3657

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Abstract

Aims: To investigate the effect of modern farming practices on the number of Corn Bunting breeding attempts. Methods: We compared the timing of breeding by Corn Buntings on the South Downs, West Sussex, with the habitat composition within 150 m of their nests. Results: Breeding was earlier in areas containing winter-sown wheat and set-aside than in areas containing spring-sown barley. Nests were earlier when cereal crops near the nest were more developed. The presence of unripe grain was a better predictor of the timing of breeding than the height of the crop. Double-brooding was extremely rare and few females re-laid after nest failures. Daily failure probabilities of clutches increased during the season, largely as a result of harvesting operations. Conclusions: Changes in the timing of cereal harvesting and the availability of uncultivated nesting habitat may have reduced the incidence of double-brooding in some intensive arable landscapes. Food availability may also limit the onset of breeding, further reducing the possibility of double-brooding.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: David Harper
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:26
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 09:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25939
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