Community Structure of Insectivorous Birds of Cabbage Fields
Community structure of insectivorous birds on insects infesting cabbage, (Brassica oleracea) was studied at Anand, Gujarat during January – March 2012. Bird activity in the field was observed through binoculars during 07:00 to 10:00 hrs and evening 16:00 to 18:00 hrs. Standard field guides were used to identify the birds. Birds recorded from cabbage fields represented three foraging guilds: ground feeder (4 spp.), aerial feeder (2 spp.) and canopy feeder (8 spp.). The canopy feeding species (n=8) were more compared to ground (n=4) and aerial feeding (n=2) species. Nine species were insectivorous whereas five species were omnivorous. A Total 14 bird species were recorded feeding mainly on upon cabbage aphids, (Lipaphis erysimi) from field. Red-wattled Lapwing was the most dominant and frequently observed species. Abundance of aphids as well as birds species activity was significantly high in pesticide free plot (27.22 ± 46.44 aphids/plant and 9.75 ± 11.63 bird numbers, respectively) compared to treated plots (9.15 ± 7.76 aphids/plant and 4 ± 2.17 bird numbers, respectively). Birds can act as bio-control agent for management of insect pests of cabbage crop and can be encouraged for their abilities to regulate the insect pests of crop pests.
Brassica oleracea, Bird Community Structure, Predatory Bird, Biocontrol Agent, Cabbage Aphid, Lipaphis erysimi, Redwattled Lapwing, Vanellus indicus.
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