A 'Nectar Thief'

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Neil Soares

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Apr 8, 2008, 9:00:33 AM4/8/08
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Hi,
Photographed at my farm at Shahapur [near Bombay] –
a Purple Sunbird [Cinnyris asiaticus] ‘thieving
nectar’ from the flowers of Radermachera xylocarpa
[Kharsing].
Flowers pollinated by sunbirds are usually red in
colour and tubular in shape eg. the Bonfire tree
[Firmiana colorata]. As the bird drinks nectar, pollen
rubs off onto its beak and head and is then
transported to pollinate the next flower it visits.
White flowers are generally pollinated by insects
[flies, bees, moths] and bats.
‘Mutualism’ is a symbiosis in which both partners
benefit- ie. the bird gets a nectar meal as a reward
for assisting in pollination of the flowers.
Hence as seen in the photographs here, the sunbird
is indulging in ‘nectar thieving’ by stealing nectar
through holes it has made in the corollas of the
flowers.
With regards,
Neil Soares.

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The 'Nectar Thief' 1.jpg
The 'Nectar Thief' 2.jpg
The 'Nectar Thief' 3.jpg
The 'Nectar Thief' 4.jpg

satish phadke

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Apr 8, 2008, 11:42:08 AM4/8/08
to Neil Soares, wildflo...@yahoogroups.com, indian...@googlegroups.com
Beautiful capture and interesting info.
By the way Radermachera xylocarpa seems to be a little uncommon tree. One sole member is seen in Pune city on Pune University to Aundh road.
Earlier I had thought it to be Heterophragma quadriloculare.(Waras)
Though both are from Bignoniaceae family.There is a small difference.
The R. Xylocarpa flowers have a distinct yellow colour in their funnels with fairly pure white colour of the flowers as against H. quadrloculare. Also the fruits differ....Have yet to see the KHARSHING or wild bull's horn.
Satish

On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 6:30 PM, Neil Soares <drneil...@yahoo.com> wrote:
Hi,
 Photographed at my farm at Shahapur [near Bombay] -



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SATISFIED http://satishphadke.blogspot.com/

satish phadke

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Apr 8, 2008, 11:48:34 AM4/8/08
to Neil Soares, wildflo...@yahoogroups.com, indian...@googlegroups.com
Attaching my pictures.
Satish
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SATISFIED http://satishphadke.blogspot.com/
Radermachera xylocarpa.jpg
Radermachera xylocarpa1.jpg

Kenneth Greby

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Apr 8, 2008, 8:14:10 PM4/8/08
to Neil Soares, wildflo...@yahoogroups.com, indian...@googlegroups.com
Neil--

 Great pictures there!

 Does R. xylocarpa fruit readily in your area?

Regards--
Ken Greby
Palmetto Bay, FL USA

Neil Soares <drneil...@yahoo.com> wrote:
Hi,
Photographed at my farm at Shahapur [near Bombay] -

Neil Soares

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Apr 8, 2008, 11:11:28 PM4/8/08
to Kenneth Greby, indian...@googlegroups.com, wildflo...@yahoogroups.com
Hi Kenneth and Satish,
Thanks for your comments. Kharsing is a fairly
common tree in my area, but on point of fact have
observed it flowering for the first time.This may be
because they are not too many really large tree
around- presumably the villagers may have cut them
down for whatever reason.
This tree being on my property is protected.
Incidently there were 2 pods on the tree [what Satish
has labelled 'Wild Bull's Horns]. Am sending you a
photograph of the same.
Regards,
Neil.

> ---------------------------------

Radermachera xylocarpa, Kharsing fruit.jpg

J.M. Garg

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Apr 8, 2008, 11:28:02 PM4/8/08
to Neil Soares, Kenneth Greby, indian...@googlegroups.com
''the sunbird is indulging in 'nectar thieving' by stealing nectar through holes"- an interesting observation- I have not observed or try to observe such a thing before.

For my Birds, Butterflies, Trees, Lanscape pictures etc., visit  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/J.M.Garg

Shivakumar N.

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Apr 9, 2008, 12:28:44 AM4/9/08
to Neil Soares, indian...@googlegroups.com, jmg...@gmail.com
 
Good observation BUT sun birds do that very often in Canna flowers....
as the Canna flowers have deep throats the small sun birds
cannot reach the right way even with thier long beaks....hence
they adopt the short-circuit way and use thier sharp tipped beaks
and make holes into the soft flowers at the  base of the Flowers just
above the ovary and sip up the nectar.
Curious just check any Canna flowers in your garden or the neighbours
you will find holes....most of the time.
Cheers

N.Shiva Kumar
NOIDA - 201 301(National Capital Region)

 
On 08/04/2008, Neil Soares <drneil...@yahoo.com> wrote:
Hi,
Photographed at my farm at Shahapur [near Bombay] -

J.M. Garg

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Apr 9, 2008, 12:54:29 AM4/9/08
to Shivakumar N., Neil Soares, indian...@googlegroups.com
Here is only a bit of inf. about this tree at link:http://www.cababstractsplus.org/google/abstract.asp?AcNo=20043108045

Some extracts from Wikipedia link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radermachera

Radermachera is a genus of 15-16 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to southeastern Asia. They are evergreen trees reaching 5-40 m tall, with bipinnate or tripinnate leaves, and panicles of large bell-shaped, white, pink, pale purple or yellow flowers 5-7 cm diameter.

The genus is named after Jacob Cornelis Matthieu Radermacher, the 18th century Dutch naturalist who cataloged much of the flora of Java and Sumatra.


 
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satish phadke

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Apr 9, 2008, 11:40:45 AM4/9/08
to J.M. Garg, Shivakumar N., Neil Soares, indian...@googlegroups.com
For last three years I am observing this tree(Radermachera xylocarpa) flowering and the season is quite long from Late Feb. Upto May sometimes. Even at present the tree is in full bloom .....with not a single leaf visible as against Heterophragma quadriloculare.(Waras) on which lot of foliage is observed along with flowers. The bark of (Radermachera xylocarpa) is more yellowish. So far I don't remember observing any fruit(Sheng/?shing) on it ...will certainly try to observe this year.
Satish
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Sushmita Jha

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Apr 9, 2008, 3:01:25 PM4/9/08
to Shivakumar N., Neil Soares, indian...@googlegroups.com, jmg...@gmail.com
Just to support your observation, I am sharing a photo I took this morning from my balcony (at quite a distance) which I think demonstrates exactly what you are saying. In this case, it looks like that the sunbird has pierced the base of the flower because of the upright position of the flower, preventing the bird from 'dipping in' from top.
Regards,
Sushmita Jha

Sunbird(F)-on-Jacaranda.jpg

Adesh Shivkar

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Apr 9, 2008, 3:23:05 PM4/9/08
to Sushmita Jha, Shivakumar N., Neil Soares, indian...@googlegroups.com, jmg...@gmail.com
I am too attaching a similar photo of a Purple sunbird demonstrating how it reaches (steals) for the nectar from tubular flowers like Ipomea....In the other image, you can also see the insertion made at the base of the flower......
 
I think this has great evolutionary significance, because the sunbirds by doing this, avoids the payment of pollination services in exchange of the nectar reward.....so such plants might sure, some day(??), would evovle to fix this :))
 
Regards,
Adesh Shivkar

 
Sunbird-Purple-7_filtered_filtered.jpg
Sunbird-Purple-12.jpg

J.M. Garg

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Apr 9, 2008, 10:25:12 PM4/9/08
to Adesh Shivkar, Sushmita Jha, Shivakumar N., Neil Soares, indian...@googlegroups.com
Hi, Adesh ji,
Your photos are such a delight. Hope to see more on Indiantreepix in future.

 
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With regards,
J.M.Garg
"We often ignore the beauty around us"

For learning about our trees & plants, please visit/ join Google e-group (Indiantreepix) http://groups.google.co.in/group/indiantreepix?hl=en
For my Birds, Butterflies, Trees, Landscape pictures etc., visit  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/J.M.Garg
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