Abundance and habitat ecology of Asian pied starling (Sturnus contra) in agricultural ecosystem of Punjab, India
Jyoti Sethi and Manoj Kumar
The present investigation was undertaken to study the abundance and habitat ecology of Asian Pied Starling, Sturnus contra in agricultural field areas of Ludhiana, Punjab from February 2016 to January 2017. The field area under study was divided into four different sites i.e. Site I, II, III and IV. The relative annual abundance of Asian Pied Starling was highest (5.17%) at Site IV followed by 4.41% at site I, 3.70% at site II and 2.42% at site III. Overall annual relative abundance of Asian Pied Starling was 3.92%. Electrical wires were the most preferred perching site. Maximum flock size of approximately 23 individuals was recorded perching together on electrical wires. Courtship behavior like head bowing, head bobbling, moving head in different directions, fluffing of feathers and calling frequently was observed during perching and roosting period. Irrigated fields, harvested fields and ploughed fields were the most preferred foraging sites. It was concluded that habitat preference was directly proportional to the presence of feeding material, roosting places and nesting material.