Sugar preferences of some southern African nectarivorous birds


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for nectar-feeding songbirds to increase adult survival

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for nectar-feeding songbirds to increase adult survival

    A randomised and replicated ex situ choice experiment in South Africa (Downs & Perrin 1996) found that three species of nectarivorous African songbirds (Gurney’s sugarbird Promerops gurneyi, malachite sunbirds Nectarinia famosa and amethyst sunbird N. amethystina ) all preferentially consumed sucrose over glucose or fructose when all were offered at low concentrations (0.25 moles/litre), but there were no such preferences when birds were offered higher concentrations (of 0.73 moles/litre). No species preferentially consumed higher concentrations of sucrose when give the choice of high (0.73 moles/litre), medium (0.5 moles/litre) or low (0.25 moles/litre) sucrose solutions. All solutions were provided in 125 ml feeders. A total of five malachite and seven amethyst sunbirds and five sugarbirds were tested.


Output references
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