Cereghetti, E., P. Scherler, J. Fattebert & M. U. Grüebler (2019)

Quantification of anthropogenic food subsidies to an avian facultative scavenger in urban and rural habitats.

Further information

Landsc. Urban Plan. 190: 103606



The provision of anthropogenic food to wildlife is a global phenomenon, and intentional wild bird feeding has become increasingly popular in the last decades. Though there is anecdotal evidence of feeding of avian facultative scavengers in rural areas, most studies of wild bird feeding in Europe and the United States focused on passerines and urban contexts. We aim at quantifying the extent of feeding by private residents to an avian facultative scavenger, the red kite (Milvus milvus), in Swiss urban and rural areas by conducting a face-to-face systematic survey (N=199 randomly selected houses) in a 275 km22. We conclude that intentional (20%) and unintentional (80%) provision of anthropogenic food to facultative scavengers are widespread and well-established human behaviors in Switzerland. These behaviors provide high food availability over the year in both rural and urban areas. The results represent an important basis for understanding the ecological consequences of anthropogenic food provisioning, humanscavenger interactions, and scavenger population dynamics in anthropogenic landscapes.
keywords: Anthropogenic bird feeding, Human-wildlife interactions, Milvus milvus , Red kite, Spatiotemporal distribution of anthropogenic food