This website is no longer being updated. Please go to GOV.SCOT

Seed-eating Birds

Why are we funding this package?

Finches, Larks, Buntings and Sparrows are a familiar and colourful group of birds associated with farmland in Scotland. Some of these species have declined in the last few decades and have been listed as Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. These include Linnet, Twite, Yellowhammer, Reed Buntings, Tree Sparrows and Skylarks.

What will this package achieve?

This package will help to maintain and increase populations of seed-eating birds in Scotland. It highlights Options for managing your land to provide winter seed for food, invertebrates for feeding to chicks and suitable nesting habitats.

All the bird species considered in this package feed throughout the year on seeds, including cereal grain, grass and weed seeds. Two species, Linnet and Twite, even feed their chicks on weed seeds or unripe rapeseed while still in the nest. The other species feed their chicks on spiders, insects and other invertebrate items. Nest sites vary from species to species. Some nest in, or at the bottom of, hedgerows, others nest in the centre of fields, while others nest in scrub or habitats well away from farmland, travelling over several kilometres to get food for their chicks.

What you can do

You should choose which of the following Options will help deliver the outcome you have selected.

We suggest the following Options may all be appropriate.

These Options will only help achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances. If you choose any of these, the application system will ask you to explain how you see this Option helping to achieve the outcome. You can select as many, or as few, Options as you think you will need. You must judge which Options will most effectively deliver the desired outcomes taking account of your circumstances.

These Options will help to achieve the desired outcome in specific citcumstances:

Other support available under SRDP

There are other Options available under the RDC that can help seed-eating birds. Several Options available under the Land Managers' Options scheme could complement and support your proposals. They include:

  • Wild bird seed mix/unharvested crop
  • Retention of winter stubbles
  • Biodiversity cropping on in-bye
  • Management of linear features - hedge/dykes
  • Management of grass margins and beetlebanks in arable fields
  • Management of conservation headlands

Crofters might find that the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme, administered by the Crofters Commission, can provide useful additional support. For example Outdoor Feed Areas may provide an alternative means of delivering winter food supply to seed-eating birds.