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We used an allometric approach to compare the minimum nitrogen requirements (MNR) and the total endogenous nitrogen loss (TENL) of nectar- and fruit-eating birds with those of omnivorous birds. These two parameters were 4x higher in omnivores than in nectarivores and frugivores. In nectarivorous-frugivorous birds, MNR was 152.8 mg N kg(-0.76) day(-1); in omnivorous birds, it was 575.4 mg N kg(-0.76) day(-1). Similarly, TENL was 54.1 mg N kg(-0.69) day(-1) in nectarivores-frugivores, and 215.3 mg N kg(-0.69) day(-1) in omnivores. The residuals of the allometric relationships between TENL and MNR and body mass were positively correlated, which suggests that a large proportion of the interspecific variation in MNR is explained by variation in TENL. Although our results show that nectar- and fruit-eating birds have low nitrogen requirements, the mechanisms that these animals use to conserve nitrogen remain unclear.

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Published as Ella Tsahar, Zeev Arad, Ido Izhaki, and Carlos Martínez del Rio,The Auk,Vol. 123, No. 4 (Oct., 2006), pp. 1004-1012. © 2006 by the American Ornithologists' Union. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the American Ornithologists' Union for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on JSTOR or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center,

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