Mulberry, frugivory, birds


A fruiting Mulberry tree (Morus rubra) was observed for 67 hours in the spring of 2016 and 2017 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A total of 172 five-minute scans were performed, during which the following parameters were recorded: species visited, number of individuals of each species, time of visitations, and foraging tier. Between each scan, the foraging rate (number of fruits consumed/min) and inter- and intra- specific aggressive interactions were recorded. A total of 3465 observations of individual birds from 32 species was recorded. Species diversity index was higher in the upper half of the tree. The mean foraging rates for the 6 most commonly observed species ranged from 1.2-2.3 fruits/min. A total of 346 aggressive interactions was observed of which 68% were intraspecific.

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