Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Conservation
Captive Breeding Increases Chances of Survival
Captive breeding gives the Grasshopper Sparrows a head start. Rearing birds for a few weeks under favorable conditions allows them to escape the toughest period in the life of a wild bird. Mealworms, crickets, and birdseed make up most of their diet while in captivity.
Before releasing the birds, researchers place radio transmitters on some of them, while unique leg bands are placed on all of them. The transmitters and bands allow biologists to follow the birds over time. These captive-reared birds are being released back into the wild where their critical habitat is still prime.
The release of these captive birds is scheduled to continue while researchers continue to seek ways to improve the reproductive success of birds in the wild. Hopefully, one day we will see stable, healthy populations thriving in their native habitat.