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Pollination and Floral Ecology$
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Pat Willmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128610

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.001.0001

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Pollination by Birds

Pollination by Birds

(p.337) Chapter 15 Pollination by Birds
Pollination and Floral Ecology

Pat Willmer

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on pollination by birds. Bird pollination, or ornithophily, is a widespread phenomenon. Many common birds visit flowers by biting through or piercing their corollas, notably tits and warblers. Birds primarily take nectar from flowers, although some may also eat pollen and occasionally take solid floral tissues. The chapter first provides an overview of the bird’s feeding apparatus, sensory capacity, and behavior and learning capabilities before discussing various types of flowers that are pollinated by birds such as hummingbirds and perching birds. The foraging behaviors of these birds are also considered, along with the ornithophilous syndrome. The chapter concludes with some observations on why extreme specialization is precluded in ornithophilous relationships.

Keywords:   bird pollination, birds, ornithophily, flowers, feeding apparatus, learning, hummingbird, perching bird, foraging behavior, specialization

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