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Energy assimilation expenditure and storage by the brown honey eater lichmera indistincta


, : Energy assimilation expenditure and storage by the brown honey eater lichmera indistincta. Journal of Comparative Physiology B Biochemical Systemic & Environmental Physiology 137(2): 157-164

Brown honeyeaters (L. indistincta), maintained in the laboratory on artificial nectar (sucrose solution) at an environmental temperature of 20 .+-. 1.degree. C, drank nectar at a greater rate in the morning than later in the day. Although only a small percentage of the total time between 0630 h (lights-on) and 1800 h (lights-out) was spent in flight, L. indistincta flew more in the morning than during the afternoon. L. indistincta accumulated energy at a relatively steady rate during the day, with the total energy stored approximating that which had been expended the previous night. When birds were switched from 1.6 M to 1.2 M or 0.8 M nectar, rates of nectar intake increased. Despite variations in rates associated with different birds and times of day, L. indistincta compensated completely, on average, for calorific dilution of nectar. Compensation may have been effected by increases in feeding bout frequency and total feeding time. Nectar concentration did not significantly influence the proportion of time spent by birds in flight. Consequently, the mean masses of fat stored by L. indistincta maintained on different nectar regimes were not significantly different.

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