Composition, diversity and foraging guilds of avifauna in agricultural landscapes In Panipat, Haryana, India

Main Article Content

Parmesh Kumar
Sharmila Sahu


Avian communities are very good indicators of integrity and stability of ecosystem structure and functions. Assessment of bird assemblages in different landscapes is therefore emphasized from an environmental monitoring viewpoint.  Bird surveys were carried out from April 2015 to March 2016 to document the avian species assemblage of agricultural landscapes in Panipat, Haryana, India.  Point-transect in amalgam with opportunistic encounter methods were used to collect data.  A total of 101 bird species under 44 families and 15 orders were recorded from the study area.  The bird species richness was highest for the order Passeriformes (48), followed by Pelecaniformes (15), Charadriiformes (6), and the remaining 12 orders.  Ardeidae was the most diverse bird family in the study area.  Among the recorded avifauna, 77 species were residents, 18 species were winter migrants and six species were summer migrants.  Species richness was recorded to be highest in the month of January compared to the remaining months.  Species richness, abundance, diversity and evenness differed significantly (P < 0.05) between seasons as well as among the agricultural landscapes.  Most bird species were insectivorous (36) followed by carnivorous (26), omnivorous (24), granivorous (9), frugivorous (5) and nectarivorous (1).  Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, and Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria are four Near Threatened species found in this region.  Interestingly, five species having globally declining population trends are still common in the study area.  The observed richness of avian species in the study area calls for further studies on habitat preference, seasonal changes, nest ecology, and breeding biology to understand species speciï¬c roles of birds in agro-ecosystems.


Article Details

How to Cite
Kumar, P. and Sahu, S. 2020. Composition, diversity and foraging guilds of avifauna in agricultural landscapes In Panipat, Haryana, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 12, 1 (Jan. 2020), 15140–15153. DOI:
Author Biography

Parmesh Kumar, Department of Zoology, Institute of Integrated & Honors Studies, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana 136119, India.

Associate Professor in Zoology


Abdar, M.R. (2014). Seasonal diversity of birds and ecosystem services in agricultural area of Western Ghats, Maharashtra state, India. Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology 8(1): 100–105.

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1987). Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan together with those of Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Oxford University Press, Delhi, 737pp.

Andrade, R., H.L. Batemana, J. Franklinb & A. Allen (2018). Waterbird community composition, abundance, and diversity along an urban gradient. Landscape and Urban Planning 170: 103–111.

Asokan, S., A.M.S. Ali & R. Manikannan (2009).Diet of three insectivorous birds in Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India-a preliminary study. Journal of Threatened Taxa 1(6): 327–330.

Bambaradeniya, C.N.B., K.T. Fonseka & C.L. Ambagahawatte (1998). A preliminary study of fauna and flora of a rice field in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Ceylon. Journal of Science (Biological Sciences) 25: 1–22.

Basavarajappa, S. (2006). Avifauna of agro-ecosystems of Maidan area of Karnataka. Zoos’ Print Journal 21(4): 2217–2219.

Bianchi, F.J.J.A., C.J.H. Booij & T. Tscharntke (2006). Sustainable pest regulation in agricultural landscapes: a review on landscape composition, biodiversity and natural pest control. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273: 1715–1727.

Cunningham, S.A., S.J. Attwood, K.S. Bawa, T.G. Benton, L.M. Broadhurst, R.K. Didham, S. McIntyre, I. Perfecto, M.J. Samways, T. Tscharntke & J. Vandermeer (2013). To close the yield-gap while saving biodiversity will require multiple locally relevant strategies. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 173: 20–27.

Dal, P. & A.K. Vaghela (2015). Preliminary survey of avifaunal diversity around Shetrunji River, Dhari, India. Journal of Biology and Earth Sciences 5(1): 19–24.

Dhindsa, M.S. & H.K. Saini (1994). Agricultural ornithology: an Indian perspective. Journal of Bioscience 19(4): 391–402.

Foley, J.A., N. Ramankutty, K.A. Brauman, E.S. Cassidy, J.S. Gerber, M. Johnston, N. D. Mueller, C. O’Connell, D.K. Ray, P.C. West, C. Balzer, E.M. Bennett, S.R. Carpenter, J. Hill, C. Monfreda, S. Polasky, J. Rockström, J. Sheehan & S. Sieber (2011). Solutions for a cultivated planet. Nature 478: 337–342.

Gregory, R.D., P. Vorisek, D.G. Noble, A.V. Strien, A. Klvanova, M. Eaton, A.W.G. Meyling, A. Joys, R.P.B. Foppen & I.J. Burfield (2008). The generation and use of bird population indicators in Europe. Bird Conservation International 18: S223–S244.

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (2011). Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Oxford University Press & Christopher Helm, London.

Hossain, A. & G. Aditya (2016). Avian Diversity in Agricultural Landscape: Records from Burdwan, West Bengal, India. Proceedings of Zoological Society 69(1): 38–51.

IUCN (2019). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Version 2019-1. Downloaded on 20 July 2019;

Karr, J.R. & R.R. Roth (1971). Vegetation structure and avian diversity in several New World areas. American Naturalist 105: 423–435.

Kumar, A.B. (2006). A checklist of avifauna of the Bharathpuzha River basin, Kerala. Zoos’ Print Journal 21(8): 2300–2355.

Kumar, P., D. Rai & S.K. Gupta (2016). Wetland bird assemblage in rural ponds of Kurukshetra, India. Waterbirds 39(1): 86–98.

Lawson, J.H., D.E. Bignell, B. Bolton, G.F. Bloemers, P. Eggleton, P.M. Hammond, M. Hodda, R.D. Holt, T.B. Larsen, N.A. Mawdsley, N.E. Stork, D.S. Srivastava & A.D. Watt (1998). Biodiversity inventories, indicator taxa, and effects of habitat modification in tropical forest. Nature 391: 72–76.

MacKinnon, J. & K. Phillipps (1993). A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali, the Greater Sunda Islands. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 692pp.

Mahabal, A. (2005). Aves, pp. 275–339. In: The Director (ed.). Fauna of Western Himalaya. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, 359pp.

Malhi, C.S. (2006). Status of avifauna in agricultural habitat and other associated sub-habitats of Punjab. Environment and Ecology 24(1): 131–143.

Mallik, A., D.S. Chand, A. Singh & S.P. Parida (2015). Studies on avifauna diversity of agronomy field of O.U.A.T campus, Bhubaneswar, India. Current Life Sciences 1(2): 46–57.

Manakadan, R. & A. Pittie (2001). Standardised common and scientific names of the birds of the Indian subcontinent. Buceros 6(1): 1–37.

Mukhopadhyay, S. & S. Mazumdar (2017). Composition, diversity and foraging guilds of avifauna in a suburban area of southern West Bengal, India. Ring 39: 103–120.

Narayana, B.L., V.V. Rao & V.V. Reddy (2019). Composition of birds in agricultural landscapes Peddagattu and Sherpally area: a proposed uranium mining sites in Nalgonda, Telangana, India. Proceedings of Zoological Society 72(4): 355–363.

O’Connor, R.J. & M. Shrubb (1986). Farming and Birds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 539pp.

Pearson, D.L. (1975). Range extensions and new records for bird species in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Condor 77: 96–99.

Praveen, J., R. Jayapal & A. Pittie (2016). A Checklist of the birds of India. Indian Birds 11(5&6): 113–172.

Rajashekara, S. & M.G. Venkatesha (2017). Seasonal incidence and diversity pattern of avian communities in the Banglore University Campus, India. Proceedings of the Zoological Society 70(2): 178–193.

Richards, P.W. (1996). The Tropical Rain Forest: An Ecological Study. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 575pp.

Sánchez-Bayo, F. (2011). Impacts of agricultural pesticides on terrestrial ecosystems, pp. 63–87. In: Sánchez-Bayo, F., P.J. van den Brink & R.M. Mann (eds.) Ecological Impacts of Toxic Chemicals. Bentham Science Publishers, Sharjah, 281pp.

Sánchez-Bayo, F., R. Ward & H. Beasley (1999). A new technique to measure bird’s dietary exposure to pesticides. Analytica Chimica Acta 399: 173–183.

Sekercioglu, C.H. (2012). Bird functional diversity and ecosystem services in tropical forests, agroforests and agricultural areas. Journal of Ornithology 153(Suppl 1): S153–S161.

Sekercioglu, C.H., R.B. Primack & J. Wormworth (2012). The effects of climate change on tropical birds. Biological Conservation 148: 1–18.

Sundar, K.S.G. & S. Kittur (2013). Can wetlands maintained for human use also help conserve biodiversity? Landscape-scale patterns of bird use of wetlands in an agricultural landscape in north India. Biological Conservation 168: 49–56.

Sutherland, W.J. (2006). Ecological Census Techniques: A Handbook. Cambridge University Press, New York, 432pp.

Thakur, M.L., V.K. Mattu, H. Lal, V.N. Sharma, H. Raj & V. Thakur (2010). Avifauna of Arki Hills, Solan (Himachal Pradesh), India. Indian Birds 5: 162–166.

Torre-Cuadros, M.D.L.A.L., S. Herrando-Perez & K.R. Young (2007). Diversity and structure patterns for tropical montane and premontane forests of central Peru, with an assessment of the use of higher-taxon surrogacy. Biodiversity and Conservation 16: 2965–2988.

Tubelis, D.P. & R.B. Cavalcanti (2001). Community similarity and abundance of bird species in open habitats of a central Brazilian Cerrado. Ornitologia Neotropical 12: 57–73.

Vijayan, L., S.N. Prasad, N. Sridharan & M.B. Guptha (2006). Status of Wetlands and Wetland Birds in Selected Districts of Tamilnadu. Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, Coimbatore, 68pp.

Whelan, C.J., D.G. Wenny & R.J. Marquis (2008). Ecosystem services provided by birds. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1134: 25–60.