Re: birding-aus Re: the early bird(s)

To: Atriplex Services <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Re: the early bird(s)
From: "Paul McDonald" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 13:00:54 +1100

To all,

I think that rather than competition with insects etc for nectar, it is the 
fact that 
nectar productivity varies over the course of the day. Other considerations 
include the metabolism of the bird and the possible need for animals feeding on 
high sugar, comparatively low volume foods to break their overnight fast 
e.g. the need for hummingbirds to go into torpor to survive the night without 
feeding. Honeyeaters etc would probably welcome competing insects on the 
blossums they visit (with the exception of ants and honeybees for many avian 
species) as an extra protein boost and saving of search time, a spin-off on the 
"surf and turf mentality"! The early honeyeater would also get more nectar as I 
recall; See the couple of papers in recent EMU from Dave Patons group (I 
think), I can't remember the exact authors.

Hope this helps, Paul
Paul McDonald
School of Biological Sciences
Macquarie University, Sydney NSW, 2109
Phone: (02) 9850 8191 Fax: (02) 9850 8245

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