Utilization of nectar and other non-insect food resources by treecreepers

The Australian Treecreepers (Climacteridae) are thought to be almost entirely insectivorous (Barker and Vestjens 1990; Higgins et al 2001). However, we have observed ingestion of a number of different non-insect food items by treecreepers. Both Brown Treecreepers Climacteris picumnus and White-throated Treecreepers Cormobates leucophaeus were repeatedly observed feeding on the nectar of Mugga Ironbark Eucalyptus sidoxylon. Additionally, Brown Treecreepers were observed feeding on lizards and at least two types of fungus. These appear to be the first observations of regular nectar feeding and of ingestion of fungi or vertebrate prey.

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