Title: Short-term energy regulation in nectar-feeding birds: the response of Whitebellied Sunbirds (Nectarinia talatala) to a midday fast
Authors: Nicolson, SW ×
Hoffmann, Dorothee
Fleming, PA #
Issue Date: Dec-2005
Publisher: Blackwell publishing
Series Title: Functional ecology vol:19 issue:6 pages:988-994
Abstract: 1. Small nectar-feeding birds have high energy turnover and must respond rapidly to changes in food concentration or feeding opportunities. A previous study showed that Rufous Hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) were unable to adjust their intake rates after a midday fast and thus ended the day with energy deficits that necessitated the use of torpor.

2. We examined the ability of Whitebellied Sunbirds (Nectarinia talatala) to cope with a similar loss of foraging time (lights out from 10.00 h to 12.00 h). During the experiment, birds were kept at 10 degrees C and fed 20% w/w sucrose solution.

3. In contrast to hummingbirds, sunbirds increased their rate of afternoon feeding following the fast, consuming 14.3 +/- SD 10.0% (n = 8) more than on the afternoon of the control day, and maintaining evening body mass at control levels. However, morning body mass on the third day was significantly lower than on the previous 2 days, indicating that compensation for reduced feeding time was probably incomplete. Nectar-feeding birds show varied and flexible responses to energy challenges.
ISSN: 0269-8463
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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