COMPARATIVE ECOLOGY OF HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) AND TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) IN ASSAM UNIVERSITY, SILCHAR CAMPUS
Pallabi Dey, Hilloljyoti Singha, Himangshu Gogoi And Prateek Sharma
House sparrow population is dwindling in many parts of the world including India. Tree sparrows being the congeneric species might also face the same threats. Both the species are found to occur in the Assam University, Silchar campus. We wanted to know how they do resource partitioning in the same habitat. Our research questions were regarding their population and distribution pattern, activities and parental investment in breeding in the same habitat.
Using trail survey methods, we estimated the population size, density and average flock size of both the species from mid-February to mid-April (during the nest building period). We carried out nest surveys along the trail. We used all occurrence focal sampling method for 10 hours once a week to record the activity budget. We collected 10 hours of data for two days a week for the parental investment of each species.
House sparrows were significantly more than tree sparrows in population size and density. While House sparrows were more or less uniformly distributed, Tree sparrows were aggregated in one part of the study area. House sparrows invested more time in parental care than Tree sparrows. The activities were also carried out in different times of the day. House sparrows preferred light posts as nest sites while Tree sparrows preferred building crevices
A distinct niche differentiation exists spatially and temporally between House sparrows and Tree sparrows. The present study has revealed that they have different distribution pattern, separate nest site preference and asynchronization breeding period (TS being two weeks late). However, the adaptation of nest site in coverless bulb-box in light posts and building crevices is a good aspect of conservation, if they can get their food resources they can survive.