Date of this Version
Proceedings Ninth Bird Control Seminar, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, October 4-6, 1983. Ed. William B. Jackson and Beth Jackson Dodd
Birds are often serious pests of rice. The small size of this cereal at all stages of its ripening makes it attractive for the small, seed-eating birds. Considerable damage also is inflicted during early stages of growth when germinating seedlings are depredated by grainivores, and several species of aquatic birds trample the fields in search of food. The migratory blackbirds (Agelaius species and others) eat various grains across the U.S.A. and Mexico, while huge numbers of red-billed weaver bird (Quelea quelea) account for grain losses up to 20% in several rice-growing African countries (Efferson, 1952). Although rice is the staple food for the majority of India, information available on bird damage to paddy is inadequate. Spotted munia (Hamid Ali et aI., 1976; Saha and Mukherjee, 1978; Verghese and Chakravarthy, 1981) and baya (Mathew, 1976; Hamid Ali et aI., 1976) are the recognized pests of rice. A host of insectivorous birds prey upon the abundant insect pests of rice. Studies on ecology of rice field birds and their foraging patterns will aid in formulating the best possible measures to prevent damage. Hence, in this preliminary study, data on the density and diversity of birds visiting a paddy field, their spatial and temporal distribution, feeding behavior, and foraging strategy were collected.