Honeydew and Its Importance to Birds in Beech Forests of South Island, New Zealand

Honeydew is produced by a scale insect (Ultracoelostoma assimile, Margarodidae) in some Nothofagus forests of South Island, New Zealand. The quantity of honeydew present and its sugar concentration varies through the year. Honeydew is a valuable resource for bellbirds (Anthornis melanura), tuis (Prosthemadera novaesealandiae) and silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Bellbirds and tuis were commoner in forests with more honeydew. Bell- birds spent more time feeding on honeydew when its sugar concentration was low.

The forgotten 60%: bird ecology and management in New Zealand’s agricultural landscape

Production lands make up 58% of Aotearoa New Zealand’s landcover and contribute greatly not only to the national economy but also to patterns and trends in native and introduced avian biodiversity. However, unlike in native forest and other indigenous habitats, birds in agro-ecosystems have received little attention to date.