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:2/9/2015)... 9, 2015  Lintec of America recently announced an ... nanotube (CNT) macrostructures, including sheets, yarns and ribbons, developed ... Leveraging the vast industrial resources of the global ... , Lintec of America is forming the Nano-Science and ... , focusing on scaling up the manufacturing and commercialization ...
(Date:2/5/2015)... Conn. , Jan. 26, 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ... new corporate website ( http://www.nxt-id.com/ ) as part of ... smart wallet. The Company launched its new consumer website ... Gino Pereira , CEO of NXT-ID said, "Our new ...
(Date:2/5/2015)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/6lngtl/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market (2014-2020): Market Forecast By Technologies, ... to their offering. , In ... is anticipated to overtake North America ... spending towards IT security, government biometric based projects ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Lintec announces exclusive license to commercialize innovative carbon nanotube technology from the University of Texas at Dallas 2Lintec announces exclusive license to commercialize innovative carbon nanotube technology from the University of Texas at Dallas 3Lintec announces exclusive license to commercialize innovative carbon nanotube technology from the University of Texas at Dallas 4NXT-ID, Inc. Launches New Corporate Website As Part Of Ongoing 2015 Branding Initiatives For Wocket Smart Wallet 2NXT-ID, Inc. Launches New Corporate Website As Part Of Ongoing 2015 Branding Initiatives For Wocket Smart Wallet 3Global Biometrics Market (2014-2020): Market Forecast By Technologies, Applications, End Use, Regions and Countries 2Global Biometrics Market (2014-2020): Market Forecast By Technologies, Applications, End Use, Regions and Countries 3
(Date:3/4/2015)... 4, 2015  BioClinica®, Inc., a leading ... today announced that clinical trial professionals representing ... its annual European User Conference in ... the use of its eClinical technologies to ... include: the Microsoft Office-Smart OnPoint CTMS; Express ...
(Date:3/4/2015)... 2015 Launched by the ... in December 2011, ,SARAH, - the French ... versus sorafenib in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has enrolled ... SARAH, a large French study of patients ... HCC) has completed patient enrolment, exceeding its 400-patient target, ...
(Date:3/3/2015)... TORONTO, March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aptose Biosciences Inc. ... therapeutics and molecular diagnostics that target the underlying mechanisms ... and seventh-month period ended December 31, 2014. ... year end from May 31 to December 31. As ... reporting today are for the quarter and the seven ...
(Date:3/3/2015)... 03, 2015 Experts and industry insiders ... one event: the Alltech REBELation exploring innovation, inspiration and ... Now in its 31st year, Alltech’s annual international conference ... and the opportunity to join the REBELation at an ... 11:59 p.m. EST, at which point the standard early ...
Breaking Biology Technology:BioClinica Teams With Pharma To Tackle Clinical Trial Challenges In Europe 2BioClinica Teams With Pharma To Tackle Clinical Trial Challenges In Europe 3Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer: SARAH Study Completes Enrolment, Results Expected Late 2016 2Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer: SARAH Study Completes Enrolment, Results Expected Late 2016 3Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer: SARAH Study Completes Enrolment, Results Expected Late 2016 4Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer: SARAH Study Completes Enrolment, Results Expected Late 2016 5Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 2Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 3Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 4Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 5Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 6Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 7Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 8Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 9Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 10Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 11Aptose Biosciences reports results for the quarter and seven months ended December 31, 2014 12World-renowned Leaders, Authors and Businesspeople Join the Alltech REBELation 2World-renowned Leaders, Authors and Businesspeople Join the Alltech REBELation 3World-renowned Leaders, Authors and Businesspeople Join the Alltech REBELation 4
Cached News: