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Diversity of Insectivorous Avian Species and their Foraging Activities at Ponds in Agricultural Habitats in Punjab, India

Diversity of Insectivorous Avian Species and their Foraging Activities at Ponds in Agricultural Habitats in Punjab, India

Sukhpreet Kaur Sidhu1*, Gurkirat Singh Sekhon1, Sachin Kumar1, Tejdeep Kaur Kler1 and Anureet Kaur Chandi2

1Department of Zoology, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India
2Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India
 
* Corresponding author: sukhsidhupau@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Ponds constitute biodiversity hotspots within a region or landscape. The objective of this investigation was to assess the diversity of avian species of insectivorous feeding guild and their foraging activities at ponds surrounded by wheat and rice crop fields. Three ponds were selected and surveyed during April 2020 to March 2021 in village Mukrabpur, district Rupnagar (pond I), village Gopalpur, district Ludhiana (pond II) and in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus (pond III), district Ludhiana. Out of 67 bird species recorded 44, 47 and 46 were observed at pond I, pond II and pond III respectively. Seventeen species of purely insectivorous and 19 species of partially insectivorous bird species were recorded. In total, 19 insect species of nine orders were recorded, out of which five lepidoptera species had the insect pest status. Statistical comparison of population of purely insectivorous birds in Kharif crop (rice) showed significant difference as compared to Rabi crop wheat. Daily foraging frequency of each individual bird species has signified their year round ecological services as biocontrol agents corresponding to Rabi and Kharif crops. Results have shown that foraging frequency of black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) was the highest followed by green bee-eater (Merops orientalis), wire-tailed swallow (Hirundo smithii), common swallow (Hirundo rustica) and house swift (Apus affinis). Study results have highlighted the biocontrol potential of insectivore avian species along with relevance of ponds in agricultural habitats.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 1, pp. 01-501

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