Factors affecting nest-site choice by Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus within arable fields: the importance of crop structure
47 – 52
1 December 05
Robert D. Sheldon, Keith Chaney, Glen A. Tyler
Robert D. Sheldon
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DL, UK.
This paper quantifies crop characteristics associated with Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus nests across a number of crop types within arable farmland. Winter cereals were taller and more dense than other crop types, and Northern Lapwing nests were associated with shorter areas with less ground cover when compared to random measurements from the same field. Crop height and cover were less important on spring-drilled crops as nest initiation occurred before crop emergence. Agri-environment scheme prescriptions, and potentially set-aside, could be used to provide suitable nesting habitat at the field-scale within arable farmland, where the emphasis should be on providing a short (<125 mm), yet diverse, sward structure.