, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 20–23 | Cite as

Energy intake rates and nectar concentration preferences by hummingbirds

  • Staffan Tamm
  • Clifton Lee Gass
Original Papers


In a series of daul choice tests with large volume feeders, rufous hummingbirds preferred sucrose concentrations near those that maximized their instantaneous rates of energy intake. As predicted on theoretical grounds, energy intake rates increased with increasing sucrose concentration to a maximum then decreased above this maximum. Earlier experimental studies suggested that hummingbirds always prefer the highest available concentration. Our results are consistent with the data of these studies, but by using a wider range of concentrations than previous workers, we found that the hummingbirds discriminated against very concentrated solutions.

Key words

Energy intake rates Food selection Humming birds Nectar concentration Selasphorus rufus 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Staffan Tamm
    • 1
  • Clifton Lee Gass
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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