Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Care for Predatory Birds
Birds can damage various crops but they also have a huge contribution to pest management. This damage can be avoided by the adoption of some tricks and actions. There is a total of 1300 species of birds recorded in India. Among the predatory birds, cattle egret, black drongo, myna, wagtail, crows etc. are the major and important birds.
Approximately about 20 different species of birds are using caterpillars and insects as their food. Some of the predatory birds eat aphids damaging various crops, beetles, locusts, grasshoppers, Webbers and various leaf-eating caterpillars as well as moths damaging vegetables & field crops. The contribution of birds to control leaf-eating caterpillars damaging to castor and groundnut is noteworthy. Besides, they also feed on white grubs and reduce the population. Birds’ about 50% diet includes different caterpillars and larvae. Preserving and maintaining carnivorous birds is very important. _x000D_ Care for Predatory Birds: _x000D_ • Most birds nest in the bushes. If natural nesting sites are not available, place artificial nest sites/ Nest boxes on trees or pillars or the buildings present on the farm. _x000D_ • Trees present on the farm side attract many birds. Hence, do not cut down such trees, but conserve them and raise other trees. _x000D_ • Apply puffed rice (murmara), chickpea snakes (ganthia) like food materials scattered in the field._x000D_ • Install artificial replica of the bird in the field to attract the predatory birds. _x000D_ • For sitting of the birds, install T-shaped bird perches or wooden sticks or tied string in the field. _x000D_ • Farming activities need to be followed to attract a large number of predatory birds and to maximize pest control._x000D_ • Birds are very active during the morning (6 to hrs) and evening (4 to 6 hrs) in searching for food materials. Thus, farm operations such as irrigation, harvesting, ploughing and other farm activities should be carried out during their feeding time. By doing such farm operations, the bird can easily pick up the hiding caterpillars/ pupae/ larvae from the soil. _x000D_ • Manage the drinking water for the birds on the farm itself._x000D_
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