I report on handling methods and efficiencies of 26 species of Paraguayan birds freeding on fruits of Allophyllus edulis (Sapindaceae). A bird may swallow fruits whole (Type I: pluck and swallow feeders), hold a fruit and cut the pulp from the seed with the edge of the bill, swallowing the pulp but not the seed (Type II: cut or mash feeders), or take bites of pulp from a fruit that hangs from the tree or that is held and manipulated against a branch (Type III: push and bite feeders). In terms of absolute amount of pulp obtained from a fruit, and amount obtained per unit time. Type I species are far more efficient than Type II and III species. Bill morphology influences feeding methods but is not the only important factor. Diet breadth does not appear to be significant. Consideration of feeding efficiency relative to the needs of the birds indicates that these species need to spend relatively little time feeding to meet their estimated energetic needs, and that handling time has a relatively trivial effect on the time/energy budges of the bird species observed.
Additional Publication Details
Feeding methods and efficiencies of selected frugivorous birds