The invertebrate diet of Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix chicks: a comparison between northern England and the Scottish Highlands

Author Baines, D., Richardson, M., & Warren, P.
Citation Baines, D., Richardson, M., & Warren, P. (2017). The invertebrate diet of Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix chicks: a comparison between northern England and the Scottish Highlands. Bird Study, 64: 117-124.

Abstract

Capsule: Conservation programmes for Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix need to consider managements that increase invertebrates for chicks.

Aims: To compare invertebrates in chick diet between habitat and region and to relate abundance of preferred invertebrates to Black Grouse breeding success.

Methods: Chick faeces were collected from roosts in the Pennines (northern England) and Perthshire (Scottish Highlands) to identify invertebrates eaten. Larval abundance was determined by sweep netting (Pennines) and related to Black Grouse breeding success.

Results: Invertebrates were recovered out of 98 faecal samples from 63 broods. Ants were more numerous in chick diet in Perthshire, with larvae (both sawflies and moths) more numerous in the Pennines. Sawfly larval abundance was positively correlated with Black Grouse breeding success in the Pennines.

Conclusions: Management for Black Grouse should promote high invertebrate abundance to maintain high breeding success. This may be achieved through creating low-intensity grazed moorland fringes to encourage Bilberry, and associated moth caterpillars, adjacent to areas of higher grazing intensity to retain grasses and rushes that host sawfly larvae.

Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to provide you with a better online experience. If you continue to use our site without changing your browser settings, we'll assume you are happy to receive cookies. Please read our cookie policy for more information.

Do not show this message again