Mistletoe Bird

This amazing flash of red belongs to the Mistletoe bird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum). This is a fascinating bird, and the following description is from local bird expert, Rod Bloss:

"This beautifully coloured tiny bird is one of my favourites to observe as it moves through the high canopies of large trees, rarely coming down to feed on berries in low shrubs etc.  It feeds almost solely on mistletoe berries from growths of the parasitic plant on large tree branches and, after dealing with the berry, it moves along a nearby branch, dragging it’s faecal sack over the branch surface until the sack is defecated on the branch, held there by a sticky substance.  This sack contains the seed of the berry which takes root on the branch and grows into another large mistletoe plant hanging from the branch.

This tiny masterpiece of perfection is a wonder to behold when seen.  "

Try your luck in spotting this bird along the Slacks Creek corridor!

Read about the interesting relationship between this bird and mistletoe in this article from The Conversation: Mistletoe: the kiss of life for healthy forests.


Mistletoe Bird