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Journal of Research
Year : 2011, Volume : 48, Issue : 3and4
First page : ( 163) Last page : ( 171)
Print ISSN : 0048-6019. Online ISSN : 2277-1271.

Bird composition in relation to phenological stages of wheat and rice crops

Kler Tejdeep K, Parshad R K

Department of Zoology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana

Online published on 20 June, 2013.

Abstract

Agricultural intensification can affect bird populations either by totally engulfing or destroying particular habitats within farmlands or by modifying the nature of habitats, thereby altering the niches they offer to farmland birds. There is an urgent need to understand the relationship between agriculture and avian diversity in Punjab, India. Therefore, a study was carried out to understand avian diversity and community organization in relation to different phenological stages of crops namely wheat and rice. Observations were carried out in agricultural fields by line transect method. A total of 54 bird species were recorded in the studied agroecosystems. Observations in wheat fields have revealed that the bird community comprised of 19, 22, 24, 27 and 32 species at the preparatory tillage, sowing, seedling, vegetative and ripening stages respectively. Bird community comprised of 13, 16 and 29 species at transplantation, vegetative and ripening stages respectively. A total of 48 and 32 bird species were recorded in wheat and rice respectively. The results had indicated increase in bird species number accompanied by the complexity in food and foraging guilds with the successive phenological stages of studied crops. There had been observed sudden shift from bird species feeding on ground to vegetation or crop gleaners from seedling to ripening stages in the said crops. The grassland inhabiting birds dominated the initial stages of wheat and rice. Mixture of grassland birds and birds preferring coarse, tall grasses/shrubbery biotope were recorded at ripening stage of wheat and rice. Phenological crop stages provided different habitat types which resembled natural habitat types to support diverse bird groups, the latter adopted themselves to the temporal shortness of these crop stages.

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Keywords

Bird community, Bird diversity, Farmland birds, Grassland birds.

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