The diversity and the feeding guilds of birds in three different habitats (secondary forest, oil palm plantation and paddy field) were investigated in riparian areas of the Kerian River Basin (KRB), Perak, Malaysia. Point-count observation and mist-netting methods were used to determine bird diversity and abundance. A total of 132 species of birds from 46 families were recorded in the 3 habitats. Species diversity, measured by Shannon's diversity index, was 3.561, 3.183 and 1.042 in the secondary forest, the paddy field and the oil palm plantation, respectively. The vegetation diversity and the habitat structure were important determinants of the number of bird species occurring in an area. The relative abundance of the insectivore, insectivore-frugivore and frugivore guilds was greater in the forest than in the monoculture plantation. In contrast, the relative abundance of the carnivore, granivore and omnivore guilds was higher in the plantation. The results of the study show that the conversion of forest to either oil palm plantation or paddy fields produced a decline in bird diversity and changes in the distribution of bird feeding guilds.
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