Seasonal breeding, moulting and weight changes among birds of dry deciduous forest in North India



The timing of breeding among Indian birds varies between species and also regionally within species. Marked differences can occur between adjacent areas, depending on the seasonal availability of moisture for plant growth. Birds of dry deciduous woodland have two peaks of breeding activity, in spring (March-April) and during the rains (July-September), with moult following the second peak in most cases. Rates of moult vary greatly between species, but practically all terminate moult by the end of November and this may truncate the potential breeding season for some species.

Changes in weight show a marked contrast with seasonal patterns observed in temperate latitudes, weights being inversely correlated to mean temperature. It is suggested that, in the case of some species which occupy a wide range of vegetation types, observed patterns of breeding and moulting are a compromise between the optimum strategies for different habitats.