Regional variation in the composition and structure of mixed-species bird flocks in the Western ghats and Sri lanka

Eben Goodale*, B. Z. Nizam, V. V. Robin, Hari Sridhar, Pranav Trivedi, S. W. Kotagama, U. K.G.K. Padmalal, Rahula Perera, P. Pramod, Lalitha Vijayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mixed-species bird flocks are attractive models for the investigation of geographical variation in animal communities, as they represent a subset of the avifauna in most forested regions of the world. Yet studies of the regional variation in flock size and the composition of flocks are few, due to the predominance of studies carried out at single study site. Here, we review nine studies of mixed-species flocks conducted at 16 sites along the Western Ghats in India and in Sri Lanka. We find that flock size varies as much within this region as it does globally, with observation time being a confounding variable. Flock composition, however, is predictably related to elevation. Flocks at high elevations (>1200 m) in the Western Ghats strongly resemble flocks at high elevations in the mountain ranges of Sri Lanka in their composition, especially at the family level. We compare these flocks to flocks of other regions and make recommendations on study methodology that can facilitate comparisons across studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-663
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Science
Volume97
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biogeography
  • Bird communities
  • Mixedspecies flocks
  • Western Ghats

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Regional variation in the composition and structure of mixed-species bird flocks in the Western ghats and Sri lanka'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this