Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2012
Great bustards feeding on volunteer oil seed rape leaves in a stubble field, October 2011. Photo © David Kjaer.
This week we are starting fieldwork as part of a new study on the diet of great bustards in the UK. This is an important topic where there are currently some substantial gaps in our knowledge. The project aims to determine the diet of great bustards in the UK and investigate changes between seasons. We will be able to associate this with the proportion of time which great bustards spend foraging in different seasons. In addition, actual diet will be compared with available food resources in the release area.
The study is being led by Scott Gooch, a volunteer who has conducted dietary research in the past. He will be carrying out intensive behavioural observations on great bustards over four periods during the year, with the support of the rest of the project team. These will be associated with the results of invertebrate and plant sampling and bustard faecal analysis.