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  amorphophallus and mockingbirds
From: "Petra Schmidt" petra at plantdelights.com> on 2003.07.19 at 06:13:37(10411)
I have to tell you that I just watched a mockingbird pick off an orange, not
quite ripe, amorph. konjac berry and fly off...the infructescence has lots
of berries missing, a few lying on the ground below the plants there, but
now I'm wondering if this bird has been coming by and sampling these
berries? Anyone else witness birds eating amorph berries?
Petra

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.20 at 08:31:25(10413)
Dear Petra,

Nice observation! I am not surprised that a bird would pick off, eat and transport Amorphophallus fruit/seed in that manner, the color of the ripening fruit is an obvious attractant to several fruit-eating birds. I had thought that the mocking bird was mainly an insect eater, but then got to thinking that in Trinidad the big crested fly-catcher, though mainly an insect-eater, avidly eats the HOT little chilis, and will even catch gold-fish from outside fountains, swooping down like a kingfisher.
I had reported that I had tasted the large, red/orange juicy ripe fruit of Taccarum ( I do NOT recommend that anyone try this!), and had found them pleasant tasting and very sweet, so even if a plant is not native to an area, the native fauna will take advantage of a 'new' food source.
This has resulted in several introduced trees and plants becoming 'pest species' here in S. Florida. The migrating American 'robins' ( a thrush species) eagerly eat the red berries of the introduced Brazilian 'pepper' trees and thus spread the seeds far and wide, even though some chemical in the ripe fruit seems to 'intoxicate' these birds, they sit on lawns looking 'drunk' after feeding on the berries.. The local crows LOVE the ripe fruit of the Australian Scheffelaria trees, huge flocks seek out trees w/ ripe fruit, these fruit turn from red to black when ripe, and this plant is now declared an invasive pest species, (as is the S. American strawberry guava) as they are turning up in natural 'native' areas, as is the African carrotwood, another tree that bears attractive (and tasty?) red fruit.
May we soon have Amorphophallus sps. as part of our local flora!

Good Growing,

Julius

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From: "Alan Galloway" alan_galloway at bellsouth.net> on 2003.07.21 at 05:49:39(10414)
Subject: Re: [aroid-l] amorphophallus
> and mockingbirds
> Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 09:30:38 -0400
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From: Harry Witmore harrywitmore at witmore.net> on 2003.07.22 at 15:18:31(10429)
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Version: 6.0.501 / Virus Database: 299 - Release Date: 7/14/2003

From: Harry Witmore harrywitmore at witmore.net> on 2003.07.22 at 15:19:03(10430)
Along these lines. You may remember I offered some Amorph kuisianus seed
last year and the day before I was to ship them all out I had a problem
with grandkid finger blight and the seeds disappeared to be later located
in the ground close by 'planted'. Well a year has passed and I'm wondering
about the estate (not really) and notice in a totally different part of the
woods a young kuisianus seedling where I have never had one and I don't
believe the grandkids put them. Is there any record of this species over
wintering as deposited seed? Maybe this is the case of a bird highjacking.

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.23 at 02:22:33(10432)
Dear Harry,

It just might have been the birds and not the kids! (or maybe a combination of both??)
As I mentioned in a previous post to Petra, to me there is no surprise that a native American fruit-eating bird would take advantage of the availability and eat some attractivly colored and tasty fruit!

Julius

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