At 18:38 19/08/1999 +1000, you wrote:
>Following on from the threads on seed-grinding guts and crested pigeons,
>I would like to note that fig birds clearly do not have seed grinding
>guts as I often see crested pigeons [noted seed eaters] in Albert Park
>industriously working their way through the fig birds left-overs!
>On the subject of Albert Park, the farmers' burning off meant I couldn't
>see Mt Barney at lunchtime :(
Some years ago I made some observations on this on the UQ campus (Emu
This sort of commensal relationship seems fairly rare in birds, most
concern insectivorous birds following larger birds or mammals which flush out
insects, but there are records of House Sparrows taking seeds from horse
and Crested Guineafowl taking dropped fruit and possibly seeds from the
Vervet Monkeys feeding above them,
Does anyone know of any other cases - I feel sure that there must be more that
have gone unrecorded in the literature.
I watched both Crested Pigeons and Rock Doves(Feral Pigeons) feeding on the
the Crested Pigeons had a higher peck rate than the Rock Doves, suggesting that
they were more efficient feeders on the small seeds.
This must be a fairly recent behaviour for the Crested Pigeons since they
have only recently
come to the east coast where Figbirds are found - perhaps another indication
they have flexible behaviour patterns - re our earlier discussions on CPs.
With larger flocks of Crested Pigeons, individual birds spent more time
less in "head jerks" watching for predators - this sort of result has been
for other species.
This just shows what can be found by watching some of our common species.
Dr Peter Woodall email =
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy
School of Veterinary Science & An. Prod. Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland Fax = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072 WWW = http://www.uq.edu.au/~anpwooda
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)
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