Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Behavioral and Ecological Correlates of Interference Competition among Some Hawaiian Drepanidinae

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1986
Authors:Carothers, JH
Journal:The Auk
Date Published:1986
ISBN Number:00048038
Keywords:Chlorodrepanis, Chlorodrepanis virens, Drepanidinae, Drepanis, Drepanis coccinea, Fringillidae, Hemignathus, Hemignathus virens, Himatione, Himatione sanguinea, Loxops, Loxops virens, Palmeria, Palmeria dolei, Vestiaria, Vestiaria coccinea, Viridonia, Viridonia virens
Abstract:Interference interactions were studied on the island of Maui among four species of drepanidines that fed on canopy flowers of the ohia tree (Metrosideros collina). The birds had a size-related dominance hierarchy, with ranking (most to least dominant, by location in dominance matrix) as follows: Crested Honeycreeper (Palmeria dolei), Iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea), Apapane (Himatione sanguinea), and Common Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). Immatures were subordinate to conspecific adults. Crested Honeycreepers and Iiwis defended tree-canopy territories, Apapanes were nomadic flock foragers, and Common Amakihis were secretive foragers. Dominance by Iiwis was indicated by a lack of reversals in the dominance matrix. For the top-ranked Crested Honeycreeper dominance was also reflected in greater chase or greater resulting retreat distances or both. Age-related differences in interference behavior by dominants appeared to be due to inexperience, as indicated by shorter chase distances for immatures. Among subordinates both experience and plumage could be responsible for age differences in behavior. Immatures were chased equal distances (despite closer spacing) but less often than adults, and they chose safer retreat sites. Apapanes fed in flocks in a dominant's tree. This increased a dominant's territorial costs, reduced chase frequencies, increased Apapane foraging times, and let Apapanes forage in trees from which they otherwise were excluded. Comparisons with the assemblage on the island of Hawaii suggested similar structure among the three species the two islands have in common. On Maui the bottom-ranked Common Amakihi may be more affected by interference competition, perhaps undergoing a niche shift toward greater insectivory because of an additional dominant.
Short Title:The Auk
Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith