Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange

Cover crops provide good bird habitat

Cara J

Recommended Posts

It’s not only farmers who benefit from using cover crops. A new study finds birds might benefit as well. As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Cassandra Wilcoxen noticed that more farmers in Illinois were planting cover crops — plants that help manage soil erosion and nutrients after the harvest for cash crops is over. She knew cover crops could have other benefits for the environment, including reducing nutrients in waterways, but she hadn’t seen much research on their effects on wildlife. As part of her graduate project, Wilcoxen compared corn and soybean fields with and without cover crops to determine which ones best provided habitat for migratory and resident bird species and whether birds of conservation concern used the habitat. After cold-calling farmers to get permission to monitor their fields, Wilcoxen compared corn and soybean fields with and without cover crops by walking through the fields, recording which birds were present and the number of individuals. “It’s cold out in early March, but it’s beautiful and when it warms up it is really neat to see what birds end up in these fields,” said Wilcoxen, lead author on the study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. She [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/cover-crops-provide-good-bird-habitat/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...