The avifauna of differently disturbed forest types of Kakamega Afrotropical forest were compared from December 2004 to May 2005. A total of 11 220 individual birds comprising of 129 bird species were recorded. Significant differences in abundance of birds among Psidium guajava, Bischoffia javanica, mixed indigenous, regeneration, Maesopsis eminii and primary forests was found. The Shannon index of bird diversity (H') varied from 1.31 in P. guajava to 1.56 in primary forest. There were no significant differences in the density of the forest bird category that the different forest types supported with 22 species occurring in all the forest types. There was no significant difference (F0.05 (59), 110 = 1.15, p = 0.26) in the bird feeding guilds observed in the different forest types. The results indicate that disturbed and plantation forests supported a lower diversity and abundance of birds than primary, mixed indigenous and regeneration forests. Furthermore, the results indicate that both exotic and indigenous plantations can enhance bird diversity and abundance at sites where natural forest succession is slow or where the indigenous forest is being threatened as in Kakamega.
Ostrich 2008, 79(1): 37–42