OOSTERVELD E (2023) Densities and trends of Common Redstart Phoenicurus pheunicurus in Alder hedges and banked hedges in Noordelijke Friese Wouden. LIMOSA 96 (2): 81-90.
The Noordelijke Friese Wouden area is an agricultural hedgerow landscape that is a stronghold
for Common Redstart in the Netherlands. It breeds here in two habitat types: Alder hedges
and banked hedges. Breeding densities in banked hedges are 2-3 times higher than in Alder hedges (Tab. 2, 3). Trends over 1975-1989-2012 and over 2014-20 are more positive in banked hedges than in Alder hedges. So, banked hedges seem to be a better breeding habitat for Common Redstart than Alder hedges. Could a difference in habitat quality be the reason?
There was no clear difference in the supply of nestboxes between both habitats. A difference in food supply of nestlings might contribute to the differences in densities and trends,
but the difference in food supply is believed to be small. For four habitat structural characteristics banked hedges scored better than Alder hedges, for one characteristic
Alder hedges scored better and for six there was no difference (Tab. 5). Breeding densities of
Common Redstart showed a very weak correlation with habitat characteristics, which did not
include characteristics for which banked hedges scored better. The weak correlation seems to be an effect of small numbers of redstarts in the sampled transects. In the near future an improved habitat analysis is conducted to test the hypothesis that Common Redstarts prefer mature hedges with plants of poor soils in the undergrowth, with many standard trees (left over while coppicing) and with a high density of hedges in the surroundings.
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