|To:||Birding Aus <>|
|Subject:||Honeyeaters feeding on melitose (sap) from Eucalypt trees|
|From:||Lawrie Conole <>|
|Date:||Tue, 15 Jul 2003 17:37:17 +1000|
Alan Morris wrote:|
Not wishing to be contradictory for the sake of it; I still feel a need to comment further on this.
Many sap sites that birds feed from are natural wounds caused by physical damage to the tree - others are at sites of insect attacks. Yellow-bellied Gliders make very uniform vee-shaped incisions - quite unmistakeable.
Of the gliders though, there is little convincing evidence for any other than the Yellow-bellied Glider making serious incisions in eucalypts to deliberately cause a sap flow. I've often heard that Sugar and Squirrel Gliders deliberately incise eucalypts in the same way, but can't say I've been convinced yet! I'm somewhat convinced that Sugar Gliders deliberately incise wattles (Acacia mearnsii and A. pycnantha for example; in southern Victoria at least). Otherwise, Sugar and Squirrel (and Feathertail) Gliders are opportunistic benefactors of the Yellow-bellied Gliders handiwork - just like the birds.
Mahogany Gliders in FNQ are known to deliberately incise grasstree (Xanthorrhoea johnstonii) flower spike stems to cause a sap flow. Spotting their paw prints on the waxy grasstree flower spike stems is one way of detecting the presence of this species.
-- ================================= Lawrie Conole Senior Ecologist Ornithology & Terrestrial Ecology Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd. Flora and Fauna Consultants 88B Station Street FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia E-mail: m("ecologyaustralia.com.au","lconole");"> Internet: http://www.ecologyaustralia.com.au/ Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993 Fax: (03) 9481 7679 ABN 83 006 757 142 NOTE: This message may contain privileged and/or confidential information intended for addressees only. Please do not copy or forward without permission.
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