A Mistletoebird intrudes

Walking along one of the tracks around the Moorooduc Quarry I heard the distinctive call of the Mistletoebird along with the alarm call of a Superb-fairy wren. Usually the fairy-wrens stay low, nearer the ground, but a female wren was calling quite loudly as a Mistletoebird helped itself to the fruit of a Cherry Ballart tree. The Mistletoebird as its name suggests has a strong relationship with various native mistletoes (Box, Drooping and Creeping) and helps spread the seed onto other trees via a very fast and sticky digestive process. I hadn’t seen one feeding in a Cherry Ballart before. The ballart is another form of parasitic plant that uses the roots of other trees to gain its nutrients rather than the branches.

Mistletoebird, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Mistletoebird, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Mistletoebird, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

II

Mistletoebird and Superb Fairy-wren, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Mistletoebird has a snack while a Superb Fairy-wren frowns at the intrusion.

One response to “A Mistletoebird intrudes

  1. Nice pics Malt,these birds like other Aussie birds are the main seed dispensers in Australia, so it all makes sense why we see so much mistletoe, and also the fact that the berries are sticky would help attach. It is interesting how these birds photograph as I usually see them bright red, but they can photograph more orange. This also occurs with the Scarlet Robin..

    Like

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