Agriculture is the key of development on rise of human civilization via farming and agricultural crops that are grown by man. There are many factors which influence agricultural production, one of them is are birds which comes under the biotic factor. Although birds provide many important services in favor of agriculture like – pest control, seed dispersal and pollination, etc.
Birds interaction with biotic communities have both positive and negative impact on them such as Substantial source of revenue, pleasure and good mental health are also provided by birds.
When a large number of birds decent on agricultural field, they will either eat or destroy crops, impacting decline in agricultural productivity.
The crops that human like to eat such as fruits, vegetables are eaten by geese, crows, jays, finches, sparrows and other species of birds. Scanning of agricultural large tracts for pests such as insects and rodents are activities done by birds [Ref. Dr Tejdeep Kour Kler ; PAU) these avian species help to keep insects population at a stable balanced level and benefiting the ecosystem of agricultural area.
Larva of Calopsilla species are eaten by red-vented bulbul, sparrows and common myna which are very beneficial for medicinal crops.There are several factors which decide the damage caused by birds in particular area such as – cropping system, season and population of birds, area of cultivation, etc. (Ref. CDFI vol. 10)
It is interesting to know that in India the study conducted in 3 productive agricultural districts Pune, Amravati and Akola in Maharashtra in which interviews with farmers were held and identification of birds species for crop depletion was discussed.
They concluded that the maximum damage was observed in sorghum crops by house sparrows (Passer Domestious), rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula Krameri) and baya weavers (Ploceus Philippinus) about 52% of total loss in production.
House sparrows and baya weavers also damaged the groundnut crop by 26% in plots selected for sampling, just after the sowing period. Peas crops is damaged by Blue rock pigeons (Columba livia) about 42%. Many species inflict damage by transmitting food borne diease or indirectly by consuming natural enemies of pests.
Not only the crops yield but also fish farming and beekeeping are often effected by some birds like Kingfisher and bee-eaters. Undoubtedly Kingfisher feeds on fish fry, crustaceans but due to there low population they cause negligible loss in economie. Rose-ringed parakeet is seem to be exclusively harmful and danger to agriculture.
Not only discussing the negative impacts, birds also have many positive impacts in favor to making the agriculture better.
– They are the natural way of pest control in agriculture.
– They have ability to eat approx 100s of insects easily per day.
– Birds which feeds on Nactor are important Pollinators.
– Fruits eating birds also help in dispersing seeds, they carry seeds in their intestine and transfer them to new location.