African Journal of Ecology and Ecosystems ISSN 2756-3367 Vol. 8 (8), pp. 001-007, August, 2021. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Studies on the community ecology of cattle egrets Bubulcus ibis coromandus (Boddaert) in Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), India

Deep Novel Kour* and D. N. Sahi

Department of Zoology, University of Jammu, Jammu (J & K), India.

Accepted 12 August, 2021

Abstract

Some species of birds mirror an association with herbivores like buffaloes, cows, horses and goats to have their sustenance by feeding on insects living either near or on them. This paper attempts to document such associations of cattle egrets with the above mentioned mammals and birds like little egret, pond heron, common myna, cormorants and purple moorhen thereby throwing light on the various foraging parameters of cattle egrets in association with these animals. Cattle egrets are known to obtain more food in the association of herbivores with which they reflect commensalistic association whereas they are neutrally associated with birds. Besides, this piece of work provides information regarding parameters like time spent by cattle egrets in association with herbivore host species, number of hosts and egret steps per minute, location of foraging egret with respect to host (head, front legs or hind legs), number of attempts and items obtained per minute, capture success rate etc. In case of active foraging with cattle, number of strikes per minute was observed to be 10 to 13, average number of steps ranged from 8 to 9 whereas number of prey items captured was 4 to 6. Moreover, number of steps of cattle while foraging with cattle egrets was noted to be 11 to 13.

Key words: Commensalistic Association, Foraging, Herbivore, Capture Success Rate.