Changes in field choice among staging and wintering geese in southwestern Scania, south Sweden
Keywords:staging sites, stopover sites, winter ecology, agriculture, foraging ecology, Anatidae, diet
Field choice of staging and wintering geese were regularly noted during the International Goose Counts in south-west Scania, South Sweden, since the start in 1977/78. Marked changes in the selection of field types was noted during the autumn counts. When the counts started sugar beet fields were important for Anser fabalis during late autumn, whereas Anser albifrons, Branta canadensis and the few staging Branta leucopsis mainly used autumn-sown cereals and grassland, and the few observed Anser anser fed on stubbles. During the study period all species changed to feed on sugar beet remains during autumn, and this was the preferred food for all species in recent years; B. canadensis and A. anser changed around 1988–1990, whereas the two smaller species A. albifrons and B. leucopsis changed later. In winter, most remaining geese used winter-cereals, grassland and in later years winter rape.
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