Re: birding-aus sap sucking birds

Subject: Re: birding-aus sap sucking birds
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:50:35 +1100
Carol Probets wrote:

> On the 30th December I saw two Yellow-faced Honeyeaters feeding on sap
> oozing from the trunk of a Eucalyptus punctata (Grey Gum) near Newnes north
> of Lithgow, NSW, only about 50cm from the ground. Sounds like E. punctata
> sap is highly desirable!

Roy Sonnenburg and Carol Probets both make interesting points about
'sap-sucking' by Australian birds.  Last year a short paper appeared on the
subject too:

Chapman, A., Bradford, M.G. & Hoskin, C.J. (1999).  Sap suckers: a novel bird
'guild' in wet sclerophyll forests of tropical north Queensland.  Emu 99(1):

I've also observed a range of birds and insects using Yellow-bellied Glider
(Petaurus australis) sap feeding sites in the Otway Ranges of SW Victoria, and
was intending to respond to their paper to suggest (1) that the phenomenon is
more widespread than just north Qld, and (2) it's possibly quite a significant
source of plant carbohydrates for birds in the forests/woodlands where it

Any other such observations would be of interest (with some kind of habitat
description included too please).


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