Foraging behavior of selected insectivorous birds in Cauvery Delta region of Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India

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S. Asokan
A.M.S. Ali


This paper reports the foraging behavior of five insectivorous birds, namely White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis, Small Bee-eater Merops orientalis, Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis and Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus in Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu, India. The birds used a variety of perch types for hunting insect prey; in general the electric power line was a common perch type used by all species except the Common Myna. The perching and foraging height used by birds were classified into 3 meter categories, up to 12m. Aerial feeding or hawking in Bee-eaters and ground feeding in Common Mynas were major feeding techniques, recorded 68% and 86% of the time respectively. The other three species used gleaning as a feeding technique. The highest niche overlap was recorded between Indian Rollers and Black Drongos and between White-breasted Kingfishers and Indian Rollers.

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Author Biographies

S. Asokan

Dr. S. Asokan is currently teaching students, undertaking and supervising various research activities. He has produced 7 PhD and 40 MPhil students in various fields of Wildlife Biology and Zoology. He has published more than 35 research papers in leading national and international journals.

A.M.S. Ali

A. Mohamed Samsoor Ali obtained his MSc degree in Wildlife Biology from AVC College, Mannampandal in 2003 and he has been working on various fields of ornithology since 2004.

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