Maliau bird project (proposal)

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Spatial partitioning in birds and their behaviors on Ficus caulocarpa

Le and Sreekar



  • Food sources are generally limited in the tropical rainforests, leading to intense competition. Fig trees which fruit continuously can attract numerous bird species.
  • Maliau basin has an impressive bird diversity of 292 species (Anon.,2006). Besides, there is a tight relationship between figs and birds as nearly 75% of species eating figs are birds (data based on a study in Lambir Hills, Shanahan & Compton, 2001). Therefore, we believe that studying the composition of bird species and their interactions in Maliau Basin will be interesting.


  • Is the spatial partitioning among bird species that frequent Ficus caulocarpa significant and the pattern of partitioning consistent over time?
  • What are the percentages of frugivorous and insectivorous bird species that frequent F. caulocarpa?
  • Is there any inter-specific aggression for food within birds?


  • Certain bird species only perch at certain height level (lower, medium and upper) and relative position on the tree (such as outer tips of branches or near the bole.
  • Birds of larger size can drive away smaller ones in competition over food

Material and Methods

  • The observations and counts will be made between 06:00 – 17:30 using a point counting method. Environmental variables such as temperature, humidity, time will be recorded and the observations will be made using two binoculors (10x50 & 8x42) and camera with 500mm zoom lens for documentation.