This study was conducted to explore species diversity and relative abundance of birds in Lake Hawassa and its adjoining areas from August to February 2018. Systematic random sampling techniques at an interval of 3km were used to select sampling grids. Data were analysed by using PAST Software version 2.17c in analysing biodiversity indices, Bray-Curtis cluster analysis and Individual Rarefaction analysis. The result showed a total of 103 avian species record belonging to 47 families and 14 orders during both the wet and dry seasons. During the wet season, the riverine habitat had the highest avian species diversity (H’=3.60), followed by Lake Hawassa (H’=3.43), although during the dry season, Lake Hawassa had the highest avian species diversity (H’=3.70), followed by the riverine habitat (H’=3.67). Highest species richness was recorded in Lake Hawassa in both seasons. Lake Hawassa and Cheleleka wetland had the strongest bird similarity (39.08%) as shown by the Bray-Curtis cluster analysis. The relative abundance score of species during the wet and dry seasons was variable in all the study sites. The results suggest that the need to conserve the avifauna of the whole study sites through the conservation of their habitats.
Keywords: Bird diversity, Wetland, Richness, Species similarity