Study

Sugar preferences and "side bias" in Cape sugarbirds and lesser double-collared sunbirds

  • Published source details Jackson S., Nicolson S. & Lotz C.N. (1998) Sugar preferences and "side bias" in Cape sugarbirds and lesser double-collared sunbirds. The Auk, 115, 156-165.

Actions

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 series of ex situ choice experiments in the Western Cape, South Africa, in 1995 (Jackson et al. 1998) found that 13 southern (lesser) double-collared sunbirds Nectarinia chalybea showed a preference for 20% by weight sucrose solution, compared to 20% fructose or ‘hexose’ (equal parts fructose and glucose) solutions, both of which were preferred to 20% glucose. In contrast, 13 female Cape sugarbirds Promerops cafer did not show a preference for different sugar types. Individuals of both species appeared to avoid solutions with xylose in them, reducing their consumption as the proportion of xylose in the solution increased. Solutions were provided in 25 ml pipettes with a glass bulb on the end with a drinking hole in it, surrounded by red nail varnish to increase visibility.

     

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