Food preferences of the bellbird (Anthornis melanura) in native forest remnants on the Port Hills, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
|Title||Food preferences of the bellbird (Anthornis melanura) in native forest remnants on the Port Hills, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Spurr, EB, Rod, S, Tranter, KP|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||availability, foods, resource selection, resource use|
Food preferences of the bellbird (Anthornis melanura), an endemic honeyeater, were determined by comparing the proportional use of plant species for nectar, fruit, and invertebrate feeding with the proportional availability (foliar cover) of plant species in forest remnants on the Port Hills, near the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Of 529 feeding observations throughout the year, 56% were on invertebrates, 29% on nectar, and 15% on fruit. Invertebrate feeding predominated in all months except August to November, when nectar feeding predominated. Kunzea ericoides, Fuchsia excorticata, and Hoheria angustifolia were used more than expected from their foliar cover for invertebrate feeding, while F. excorticata, Sophora microphylla, Pseudopanax arboreus, and Phormium tenax were used more than expected for nectar feeding, and Coprosma robusta and Myrsine australis more than expected for fruit feeding. Little nectar was available in winter, which may explain why some bellbirds moved from the hills to the city at the end of the breeding season. However, more research is needed on the influence of temperature on these movements and on the resources used by bellbirds in the city.