Epaulet Oriole (Icterus cayanensis) Science Article 1
Among the vertebrate pollinated plants, the genus Erythrina includes tree species in which birds arethe pollen vectors. Two groups in this genus may be distinguished: a) the hummingbird, and b) theperching bird pollinated species. Erythrina dominguezii is included in the second group and occursin deciduous/semi-deciduous forests in the southwestern neotropics. I studied the exploitation ofErythrina dominguezii nectar by perching birds in a dry forest in western Brazil. Six perching birdspecies from two distinct groups (Psittacidae: Brotogeris chiriri, Nandayus nenday, Aratingaacuticaudata; Icterinae: Psarocolius decumanus, Icterus cayanensis, I. icterus) consumed its nectar.The two most important consumers were Brotogeris chiriri (51.5% of the flowers visited by birds)and Psarocolius decumanus (20%). While B. chiriri was a flower predator, P. decumanus removedthe nectar without damaging the flowers which it opened by inserting its large bill between the standardand the keel. Nandayus nenday, Aratinga acuticaudata, and I. icterus exploited the nectar like P.decumanus, and presumably also contributed to pollen transfer. As the flowering in E. domingueziiwas intense and synchronous during the dryest period of the year, and its nectar was highly consumedby birds, the present data suggest that the nectar of this species may be important as an alternativeresource to frugivorous/omnivorous birds when other resources are scarce.
RAGUSA-NETTO, J., Braz. J. Biol., 62(4B): 877-883, 2002