Specialist nectarivorous birds (Cinnyris osea) steal nectar whereas omnivorous birds are pollen transfer vectors of Anagyris foetida

Ron Haran, Ido Izhaki, Amots Dafni

Abstract


The ornithophilous Anagyris foetida is almost the only shrub in the eastern Mediterranean region that flowers in winter. We assessed the pollination potential of flower visitors by observing pollen loads on trapped animals and contacts with floral parts. Resident and wintering omnivorous bird species, together with honey bees (Apis mellifera), were found to carry the shrub’s pollen throughout its long flowering period in Israel and thus might be legitimate pollinators. Spring-migrating omnivorous birds passing through Israel carried pollen. The Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris osea) is the only specialist nectarivorous bird in the Middle East. It carries little pollen and is therefore primarily a nectar thief of A. foetida.


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ISSN 1920-7603

 

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