Nectar harvesting and pollination by spiderhunters

posted in: Feeding-plants | 2

Calvin Chang a.k.a. deswitch documented two species of spiderhunters at Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia, harvesting nectar from flowers. The image above (left) shows a Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) on an ornamental banana plant (Musa ornate). That on the right shows a Little Spiderhunter (A. longirostra) on a ginger plant. In both, the bill of the spiderhunter is covered with whitish pollen. As they visit one flower after another, they effect cross pollination.

According to Gill (2007), a flap covers and protects the nostrils of some birds, especially diving and flower-feeding species. The former needs to keep out water while the latter to keep out pollen from entering their nostrils.

Images by Calvin Chang.

Reference:
Gill, F. B., 2007. Ornithology. W. H. Freeman & Co., New York. 758 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) and a Little Spiderhunter (A. longirostra) were shown with their bills dusted with pollen in an earlier post. This was the result of the birds collecting […]

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  2. […] will find an eager audience … in pollination; however, it goes well beyond pollination to draw …Bird Ecology Study Group Nectar harvesting and pollination …As they visit one flower after another, they effect cross pollination. … Pingback by Bird Ecology […]

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