HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UC Davis science, engineering and technology newstips -- March

m; Andy Fell, (530) 752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu.

HUMMINGBIRDS AVOID NECTAR-ROBBED FLOWERS

When hummingbirds forage for nectar in the mountains of Colorado, they avoid flowers that have already been raided by nectar-robbing bumblebees. They do this without having to see the nectar, or remember which plants they have visited before, according to postdoctoral researcher Rebecca Irwin at the University of California, Davis.

Broad-tailed and rufous hummingbirds feed on nectar from the long red flowers of scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata). The birds play an important role in pollinating the plants. But bumblebees also have a taste for nectar. The bees chew holes in the base of the flower to get at the nectar, and do not help pollinate the plants. Nectar-robbed plants are less likely to get pollinated and produce up to 50 percent less seed, said Irwin.

Irwin simulated nectar robbing by artificially removing or adding nectar to flowers, then watched hummingbirds feeding on them. The birds were less likely to visit a plant without nectar, and probed fewer flowers on plants they did visit.

Two possible explanations are that the birds use visual clues that tell them the flower is empty, or that they remember robbed flowers from previous visits, she said.

To block visual clues, she painted over the flower bases to disguise bee holes and nectar content. Despite this, the birds still went for the full flowers.

To test the bird's spatial memory, Irwin set up full and empty flowers in an aviary and let the birds get used to them. Then she moved the flowers around. The birds still went to the full flowers, without wasting energy on empty ones.

Irwin has some more theories to test on why the birds pick the right flowers. One is that their wingbeats make the flowers vibrate, and full flowers have a different frequency to empty ones. She will be testing these ideas in ne
'"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
13-Mar-2001


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Controversial UK badger killings analyzed by UC Davis expert
2. New angle needed to get pike out of Lake Davis
3. UC Davis to begin identifying eligible families for study on environmental factors in autism
4. NSF establishes center for biophotonics at UC Davis
5. UC Davis mathematician, neuroscientist win Sloan Fellowships
6. Next-generation AIDS vaccine for healthy individuals being tested for safety, tolerability at UC Davis
7. UC Davis first cloned calf born, succumbs three days later
8. UC Davis biomedical engineering department awarded $12 million by Whitaker Foundation
9. UC Davis study finds breastfeeding may protect bones in teen-age mothers
10. UC Davis, Santa Barbara get $6 million to help estuaries
11. UC Davis study finds heart benefits from apples & juice

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Davis science engineering and technology newstips March

(Date:10/30/2014)... Bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract fulfill many vital ... same bacteria can induce strong inflammatory responses by ... and enter the bloodstream. , Although acute inflammation ... chronic or systemic inflammation is linked to numerous ... involvement of inflammatory processes in the development of ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... 30 October 2014 Biological membranes are mainly composed ... adsorption of solution ions onto lipid membranes helps ... new study provides a quantitative description of the ... Joanna Kotyńska and Zbigniew Figaszewski from the University ... study describing these findings, just published in ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... and gas production are well over recommended levels in ... journal Environmental Health . High levels of benzene, ... the first to be based on community sampling by ... used to supplement official air-quality monitoring programs. , Unconventional ... readily flow to the surface. This is because they ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Breakdown in gut barriers to bacteria may promote inflammation and craving in alcoholics 2Ion adsorption matter in biology 2Air quality and unconventional oil and gas sites 2Air quality and unconventional oil and gas sites 3
(Date:10/31/2014)... 2014 ENVIRON , an ... today that Dr. Harvey Clewell III has rejoined ... work closely with senior professionals in ENVIRON’s Health ... serve at The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences ... where he is Director, Center for Human Health ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 The report ... Chemicals), by Application (Cosmetics & Toiletries, and Soaps & ... to 2019”, has defined and segmented the Fragrance Ingredients ... trends in terms of value. The market has been ... North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 2014 ... HCL Industry” is a professional and in-depth research ... provides basic Naltrexone HCL information, including its definition, ... as industry overview. This research covers the international ... as global industry analysis covering macroeconomic environment & ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... 2014 James Sherley says he has been ... stem cell technology since his days as a principal investigator ... the late 1990’s. Sherley founded the ASCTC as a ... all the intellectual property developed in Sherley’s research over the ... Institute of Technology (MIT), and more recently as a senior ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Internationally recognized health scientist Dr. Harvey Clewell renews association with ENVIRON 2Internationally recognized health scientist Dr. Harvey Clewell renews association with ENVIRON 3Fragrance Ingredients Market worth $17,104.21 Million by 2019 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Fragrance Ingredients Market worth $17,104.21 Million by 2019 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Fragrance Ingredients Market worth $17,104.21 Million by 2019 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Fragrance Ingredients Market worth $17,104.21 Million by 2019 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 5Naltrexone HCL Market & Nalbuphine HCL Industry Analysis for Global, China Regions Now at DeepResearchReports.com 2Naltrexone HCL Market & Nalbuphine HCL Industry Analysis for Global, China Regions Now at DeepResearchReports.com 3Boston’s Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Introduces A New Technology for Monitoring Previously Elusive Adult Stem Cells 2Boston’s Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Introduces A New Technology for Monitoring Previously Elusive Adult Stem Cells 3Boston’s Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Introduces A New Technology for Monitoring Previously Elusive Adult Stem Cells 4
Cached News: