Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 22473.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022473

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Food source characteristics and diversity of birds based on feeding behavior in residential areas of Beijing

Luqin Yin1,2, Cheng Wang1,2,*(), Wenjing Han1,2   

  1. 1. Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091
    2. Urban Forest Research Center, National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100091
  • Received:2022-08-18 Accepted:2022-11-15 Online:2023-05-20 Published:2023-01-01
  • Contact: * E-mail:


Aims: Urban areas can provide important habitats for birds. Residential green spaces can play an important role in urban green spaces and may provide valuable resources for urban birds. Food diversity and quantity can be one of the factors that could be limiting bird survival. Therefore, by considering the food preferences of birds, this study aims to determine the relationship between birds and their food sources in Beijing residential areas. Furthermore, this study seeks to determine what factors may influence bird feeding behavior in residential areas.
Methods: Forty residential areas were selected as survey plots and surveyed monthly from June 2020 to May 2021. Shannon-Wiener diversity index was used for evaluating bird diversity, and the distribution was defined as the numbers of residential areas where birds fed. A generalized linear model was used to evaluate the influencing factors of bird feeding in residential areas, and linear regression was performed on the diversity index, abundance and the distribution of bird feeding sources.
Results: (1) The feeding behavior of 2,242 birds (35 species, 14 families) were recorded. We observed that bird richness was at its highest in spring, followed by autumn, winter and summer, then abundance was at its highest in spring, followed by winter, autumn and summer, and the Shannon-Wiener diversity index was at its highest in autumn, followed by spring, winter, summer. (2) A decrease in food sources was observed in the following: insects (33.87%), samara (18.33%), berries (9.77%), cones (8.16%) and grass seeds (5.17%). (3) The direct utilization of plants by birds was 60.4%, while the indirect utilization was 39.6%. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index of food source plants decreased in autumn (3.1612), winter (2.9651), spring (2.9203) and summer (2.1763). (4) The species of food source was the most critical environmental factor that determined birds feeding behavior in residential areas. Birds with more abundant food sources had larger populations and wider distribution ranges.
Conclusion: Plant species in residential areas can be highly diverse and can offer a wide range of food sources for multiple species of birds throughout their entire phenology between the early spring and autumn. It is necessary to plant more native tree species and fruiting plants, reduce hedgerows, and advocate near-natural management measures with low disturbance.

Key words: bird diet, residential area, food source, food source plant, bird diversity, Beijing