The Digestion of Pollen by Some Australian Birds
RD Wooller, KC Richardson and CM Pagendham
Australian Journal of Zoology
36(4) 357 - 362
AbstractAbout one-third of all banksia pollen grains excreted 1-2 hours after ingestion by captive New Holland honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), zebra finches (Poephila guttata) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), had lost their protoplasmic contents. Most pollen passed through the digestive systems of these birds in 4-5 hours and up to 44% of grains were digested. The faeces of wild purple- crowned lorikeets (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) showed a similar proportion of empty grains. In the budgerigar, honeyeater and lorikeet, loss of contents of pollen grains occurred, not in the stomach, but progressively along the intestine.
© CSIRO 1988