Woody woodpecker enjoys soft drinks: the blond-crested woodpecker seeks nectar and pollinates canopy plants in south-eastern Brazil
Keywords:Celeus flavescens, Picidae, Spirotheca passifloroides, Bombacaceae, Schwartzia brasiliensis, Marcgraviaceae, ornithophily
AbstractInsects are the staple diet of woodpeckers, but some species also habitually feed on fruits. A few woodpecker species are recorded as flower visitors for nectar intake. We report here on the blond-crested woodpecker (Celeus flavescens) taking nectar from flowers of two canopy species, Spirotheca passifloroides (Bombacaceae) and Schwartzia brasiliensis (Marcgraviaceae), in the Atlantic forest of south-eastern Brazil. Spirotheca passifloroides blooms for three months in the austral winter, whereas S. brasiliensis blooms for two months in the summer. Flowers of both species produce large amounts of dilute nectar. Celeus flavescens visits several flowers per plant touching the anthers and stigmas with its head and throat, and thus acts as a pollen vector. We suggest that woodpeckers may be more frequent flower visitors than previously thought, and that feeding on ripe fruits may be a simple behavioural step for the origin of nectar feeding by Neotropical woodpeckers.
How to Cite
Rocca, M. A., Sazima, M., & Sazima, I. (2006). Woody woodpecker enjoys soft drinks: the blond-crested woodpecker seeks nectar and pollinates canopy plants in south-eastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 6(2). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/205