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Re: Herbs to Carns



>I know most songbirds are insectivores!  Look at the mocking bird  they 
>eat insects, but will also eat fruits.  They will come to feeders if 
>oranges are left out.  Besides the original question said that 
>insectivors might count as an ancestor.  The thing is most songbirds are 
>not strict carnivors.  The shrikes are the only ones I can think off.  As 
>for blue jays, crows, magpies basically the corvids are omnivores and 
>they don't count.  
>

As I said, most songbirds will take fruit if it is available (so will
woodpeckers, for that matter).  But my understanding was that this thread
was looking for examples of carnivores descended from herbivores, and
insect-eaters are not herbivores.  I was taking issue with your claim that
all songbirds except shrikes were fruit and  seed eaters.  Occasional
frugivory (which is known in dogs, for heavens sake) is not the point - it
is whether a species adapted as a primary or obligate herbivore (which most
songbirds are not) can give rise to carnivore descendants.

In fact many larger songbirds will take things like small frogs or lizards
if they can get them, and shrikes often eat insects, too; the Loggerhead
Shrike's diet can be 68% insects in summer.  As for mockingbirds, they
sometimes raid shrike larders!
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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