Capricorn Coast Birds
   
 
  Mistletoebird
Dicaeum hirundinaceum
average size 11cm
 
         
 
 
 
  Male   Female  
         
   
Mistletoebirds are found throughout mainland Australia and are also found in Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia. Here you can find them wherever Mistletoe grows; in mangroves, in the foreshore scrub around our beaches, in woodlands and around paperbark swamps.
They mainly eat the berries of mistletoe, hence the name, but they also eat nectar, pollen, spiders, and insects. When the birds eat the mistletoe berries the seeds pass quickly through them and when they excrete the seeds, which are sticky, these adhere to the branch of a tree and sprout. In this relationship the mistletoe bird and the mistletoe plant, which is a parasitic plant, show complementary adaptations for mutual benefit, the plant attaining efficient seed dispersal and the bird ensuring a continuing food supply.
They build a silky, pear-shaped nest made from matted plant down and spider web, this is suspended from a twig in the foliage of a tree. The female alone builds the nest and incubates the eggs, while both sexes feed the young.
 
  Young bird