Damage by birds occurs where there is economic loss as a result of wildbird activity. There are however generalizations that presence of birds at farms are negative to crop production. This study assessed the influence of weed and rice developmental stages management on wildbirds in aquatic habitats at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Two line transects 1km each were used to measure effect of weed management on bird species at the reservoir. Extent of Water lily (Nymphaea lotus) coverage every 200m was measured in three classes to determine influence on birds. Five minutes was spent per plot or section to enumerate bird species in the morning and evening. Other variables were; stages of rice development, activity of birds in the paddies, and extent of water lily coverage in each section on the reservoir. The weed parameter levels at the reservoir were significant in determining bird species abundance (F=7.269, P<0.05). Rice growth stages in the paddies were significant in determining bird species abundance (F=7.474, P<0.05). Matured grains stage had the highest bird species abundance value (17.58). Common moorhens, Egrets, Bronze mannikins and Village weavers were observed causing damage to the rice crop during the survey. However, bird feeding activity in the rice paddies include those feeding on the grains and those feeding on invertebrates. Caution must be advocated for in deciding on measures to control losses attributed to wildbirds. Less evasive means such as crop rotation possess significant potential to curb bird pest losses.
Key Words: Rice, wetland, Avifauna, Management, weed, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture