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Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula) Nestling Morphometry and Feeding Habits in Bajaur Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan

Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula) Nestling Morphometry and Feeding Habits in Bajaur Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan

Rahmat Ullah Khan1*, Asif Sadam2, Karim Gabol1, Waheed Ali Panhwar3, Sajid Mahmood4, Mustafa Kamal5, Hamid Ullah6, Syed Abidullah7, Muhammad Tufail8, Bashir Ahmad4, Gul Bacha Khan4 and Habib Ul Hassan1

1Department of Zoology, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
2College of Life Sciences, Hainan Normal University, Haikou-571158, China
3Department of Zoology, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan
4Department of Zoology, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan-21300
5Department of Zoology, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan-23200, Pakistan
6Department of Zoology, Bahawalnager Campus of the Islamia University, Bahawalapur
7Department of Botany, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan-23200, Pakistan
8Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China
 
* Corresponding author: rahmatullahkhanpk@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

The present investigation was aimed to improve the contemporary information about morphometry and diet of Oriental skylark Alauda gulgula nestling from hatching to 8th day very carefully during the breeding season (April, May, June, and July) 2019, in district Bajaur. A total of 70 nestlings of 22 nests were studied systematically. The eggs were hatched out both from the middle point and blunt end. All the eggs were hatched asynchronously with closed eyes and a naked body. They opened their eyes on average after 3.27±0.4 days of hatching. Their wing and tail feathers grew on an average of 3.8±0.3 day of age. On the 8th day, their average morphometry (cm) was: body length 6.7±0.1, wingspan 4.8±0.1, tail feathers 0.8±0.7, beak 0.7±0.3, chest 2±0.1, legs 2.02±0.5, middle claw 0.2±0.04, hind claw 0.4±0.04, and average body weight (g) 20.7±0.7. From hatching till the 3rd day of age, they were fed totally with larvae of arthropods, most1y Lepidoptera and Coleoptera (40%), Hymenoptera (12%) and Diptera (8%). However, adults and grains were not fed. Nestlings (4th day age) were fed by adults (32%), larvae (69%), and grains (2%). While the chicks were fed mostly by adults (72%), with larvae (23%) and grains of seed (5%). Significant differences were present in the growth of all traits, morphometry, diet, and food collection sites. However, no difference in feeding was noted. The main loss of nestlings was by mammalian predators and grazing and cutting of local crops. Awareness about the protection strategy of skylark from egg laying till fledging is required among locals and farmers.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 54, Iss. 5, Pages 2003-2500

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