The effect of food and shelter on habitat selection by granivorous birds over-wintering in shrub steppes of the northern Negev, Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • Habitat structure and productivity are suggested as important determinants of community structure. We manipulated food abundance and shelter availability in an ephemeral community of wintering passerine birds by augmenting seeds and by adding a large bush to experimental plots in the northern Negev, Israel. In Experiment-1, we augmented seven 1-ha subplots with seeds for 5 weeks, keeping adjacent subplots as controls. We then switched treatments between the subplots for 4 additional weeks. In Experiment-2, we had five independent 4-ha plots, divided into four 1-ha subplots allocated to four treatments: Control, Seed Augmentation, Shelter Addition, and both Seed Augmentation and Shelter Addition. Species richness and bird abundance increased with food abundance, suggesting that birds either move into sites with more food, allocate more time to foraging in them, or both. bird …

publication date

  • January 1, 2007