As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Berries clue to boosting numbers of rare capercaillie

21 April 2015 
From the sectionHighlands & Islands

Numbers of capercaillie have been falling since the 1970s

Managing woodland in a way that boosts the quality of blaeberries could in turn help to better protect a rare bird, a new report suggests.

Scottish capercaillie have declined to as few as 1,000 individuals since the 1970s.

Adult birds and their chicks feed on blaeberry leaves and the insects the plants attract.

The new research suggests better quality blaeberries are found where trees have been thinned out.

The study published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said it was likely that in these areas the plants benefitted from an increase in sunlight and also nutrients from cut branches left to rot on the forest floor.

More research would be needed to better understand how woodland management could aid this process, the report has recommended.

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