Bird pollination

Although hummingbirds are the most familiar nectar-feeding birds for North Americans, there are analogous species in other parts of the world: sunbirds, honeyeaters, flowerpeckers, honeycreepers, bananaquits, flowerpiercers, lories and lorikeets.[13] Hummingbirds are the oldest group, with the greatest degree of specialization on nectar.[13] Flowers attractive to hummingbirds that can hover in front of the flower tend to be large red or orange tubes with a lot of dilute nectar, secreted during the day. Since birds do not have a strong response to scent, they tend to be odorless. Perching birds need a substantial landing platform, so sunbirds, honeyeaters, and the like are less associated with tubular flowers. The sunbirds and spiderhunters make up a family, Nectariniidae, of very small passerine birds. There are 132 species in 15 genera. The family is distributed throughout Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and just reaches northern Australia. Most sunbirds feed largely on nectar, but also take insects and spiders, especially when feeding young. Flower tubes that bar access to nectar because of their shape, are simply punctured at the base near the nectaries. Fruit is also part of the diet of some species. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings. The sunbirds have counterparts in two very distantly related groups: the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia. The resemblances are due to convergent evolution brought about by a similar nectar-feeding life tyle.[1] Some sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. The flowerpeckers are a family, Dicaeidae , of passerine birds. The family comprises two genera, Prionochilus and Dicaeum, with 44 species in total. The family has sometimes been included in an enlarged sunbird family Nectariniidae. The berrypeckers of the family Melanocharitidae and the painted berrypeckers, Paramythiidae, were once lumped into this family as well. The family is distributed through tropical southern Asia and Australasia from India east to the Philippines and south to Australia. The family is catholic in its habitat preferences, occupying a wide range of environments from sea level to montane habitats. Some species, such as the Mistletoebird of Australia, are recorded as being highly nomadic over parts of their range.[1] Pale-billed Flowerpecker feeding on Muntingia calabura There is little variation between species in the family. Flowerpeckers are stout birds, with short necks and legs. These are small birds ranging from the 10-cm, 5.7-gram Pygmy Flowerpecker to the 18-cm, 12-gram Mottled Flowerpecker. Flowerpeckers have short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues. The latter features reflect the importance of nectar in the diet of many species. They also have digestive systems that have evolved to deal efficiently with mistletoe berries.[1] They often dull in colour, although in several species the males have brightly patterned crimson or glossy-black plumage.