The fieldfare is a migratory bird which is typically a winter visitor from Scandinavia. They are seen on farmland with large hedges, scrub and woodland laden with berries. In late winter they will feed on grassland and field margins. Mixed farming systems are most suited to the fieldfare as they provide the range of habitats which they require.
Their diet predominantly consists of berries, fallen fruit, worms, slugs and sometimes grain. Winter foraging will include earthworms, wireworm and leatherjackets
“Schack-schack-schack”- Usually a furious chatter, their song is simple with a few chattering, fast notes.
- Allow specific hedge lines (those with a high percentage of thorn species) to grow on untrimmed for several years with the aim of providing a profusion of berries for winter feeding.
- Establish extended field margins around arable fields. These will provide additional habitat, but also allow more sympathetic timing of hedge cutting.
- Maintain a mosaic of mixed cropping across the farm.
- Permanent pasture with short grass sward, either being grazed or recently grazed will provide an ideal feeding ground.
- Fieldfare will also forage on over-wintering arable crops and stubbles if these fields have high earthworm numbers.
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Photo by Carl Bovis