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10 November 2023 Nest Habitat Selection and Nesting Success of Three Ground Nesting Passerines in Post Harvested Rice Fields of North East India
Pallavi Nath, Santanu Chakrabarti, Supratim Mukherjee
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Set aside fields act as potential nesting habitat and play an important role in nest success of ground nesters in farmlands. Asian countries utilize vast areas of their land as rice fields which along with adjoining habitats act as breeding ground for around 3% bird species in the Indian subcontinent. We investigated contribution of post harvested rice fields and associated habitats in nest success of three passerines within a tropical agricultural area. Nesting ecology of 90 pairs belonging to Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula (n = 25 nests), Bengal Bush Lark Mirafra assamica (n = 32) and Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus (n = 33) was studied from February 2016 to June 2017 in a complex of agricultural fields dominated by fallow stubble in the southern West Bengal, North East India. Nests were found in the stubble fields having uncut rice bases, adjacent cropped or uncropped other fields and levees. Location of the nests and their microhabitats seemed to be the most important factors concerning nesting habitat selection. Nest success was 48%, 34.4% and 21.2% in Skylark, Bush Lark and Pipit respectively. Model estimate of constant Daily Survival Rate (DSR) ranged between 0.90–0.95. Nest survival increased between 1–5% at rice bases for the three species. Pipit nests at rice bases showed 6.5% higher survival rate than open habitat. Nests at the open microhabitat had low nest survival irrespective of species. Model goodness of fit suggested that nest survival was affected mostly by combination of microhabitat and species variables. Results suggested that rice bases in post harvested fallow rice fields might play an important role in nest survival for passerines.

Pallavi Nath, Santanu Chakrabarti, and Supratim Mukherjee "Nest Habitat Selection and Nesting Success of Three Ground Nesting Passerines in Post Harvested Rice Fields of North East India," Acta Ornithologica 58(1), 113-126, (10 November 2023).
Published: 10 November 2023
field heterogeneity
Habitat preferences
Rice field
tropical Asia
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