Friday, August 14, 2009




When walking in the rain forest
I noticed this beautiful orange vine
called the Mistletoe Vine

The vine is semi parasitic.
It is found in the forest canopy
deriving water and nutrients
from the host tree
and carrying out some photosynthesis.

But how does the vine
get into the higher reaches
of the forest canopy?

the Mistletoe Vine has this little bird to thank.
The bird is also named the Mistletoe.

Perched in the high branches
the birds eat the soft berries of the vine
which can pass through their digestive systems
in five to twenty five minutes.

A very sticky poop is deposited on the branch
in a fancy series of swiping movements
and from there the seeds can germinate spontaneously.

A male Mistletoe

The Mistletoe bird is the only Australian
in the woodpecker family and
is known as a flower-pecker.

The male has a glossy black head,
bright red throat and chest
and a white belly.
The female is grey above and white below
with pale red under her tail.

The Mistletoe birds also eat pollen, nectar,
spiders and insects to balance their diet.

The Mistletoe bird and the Mistletoe Vine
enjoy a fruitful symbiotic relationship.
Birds ensure the vines keeps growing
the vines provide food for the birds.

Nature is wonderful...


I will be absent for a few days,
hopping across the Tasman Sea
to visit family...

Happy Days



  1. what a gorgeous bird, such a beautiful pattern and colours! It behaves like our mistle thrush I see but is a woodpecker, wow....

  2. Hi Juliet

    How are you today...

    I am going now to look up your mistle thrush to compare the birds...

    Thanks for adding to the post...

    Happy days

  3. That little Mistletoe could be the prettiest bird on Earth...

    Is the mistletoe vine the same as the traditional one used for Christmas decor? What a cute story to tell my grandchildren!

    As you hop across the Tasman Sea
    to visit family...I will be missing you!


  4. Delwyn: What a beautiful bird. Have you actually seen one? There must be other examples where the propagator and plant have the same name, but right now I cannot think of one. Interesting.

    Hope you have a good visit with your parents and your daughter Delwyn. Take care.

  5. What a beautiful bird! Yes, nature is wonderful.
    I hope you have a lovely visit with your family.


  6. hi delwyn - i love how bits of nature know about each other and help each other out. how they live their lives and help other lives start (and end sometimes!!) this is one lovely example of that. the bird and the flower are lovely friends. have a safe and lovely journey to new zealand. love your family right up!!!! b'bye. steven

  7. Hello Delwyn, What a pretty little bird and the mistletoe vine is a lovely orange. We have mistletoe here in the U.S., but the ones I have seen are not vines. Our mistletoe has white berries. The tradition here (& perhaps elsewhere) is to hang sprigs of mistletoe in doorways during the Christmas season and if your sweetheart is standing under a sprig then kiss him/her you must!
    Have a wonderful trip to Tasmania! Enjoy your time with family.

  8. Hi there Wanda

    Isn't he cute...This mistletoe vine is related to your Mistletoe and also the European one.

    It seems to be a big family with 75 species in Au alone...

    Thanks Wanda for you continued support...I shall come back armed with photos no doubt...

    Happy days

  9. Hello Bonnie

    No I haven't seen one yet. This one is courtesy of Wikipedia. But I know what to look for now.
    I did see a new bird on my walk today though... I think he was a thrush making a horrible sound like a tractor being started with a crankshaft....

    Thanks for the kind wishes

    Happy days

  10. Hello Angela

    I'm glad you are of like mind...

    and thanks for the kind words...

    Happy days

  11. Beautiful, Delwyn. I wonder if it's the same Mistletoe we have over here in the US. I do know it grows high up in the tops of the trees in Winter. The bird's colors are amazing. I learned something new already today: I didn't know there was a Mistletoe Bird! Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge of Mother Nature! Blessings!

  12. Hi Steven

    Nature tells us a lot about living in harmony and sympathy....working together for mutual benefit...

    Thanks for the kind thoughts Steven

    Happy days

  13. Hi Lizzy

    this mistletoe is related to your one.
    Evidently the practice you have described came from meeting your foe under the mistletoe vine at which time you laid down your arms and became friends...

    The Tasmman Sea separates Au and New Zealand. It is to Christchurch in NZ that I am going....a three hour flight from Brisbane.

    thanks for your thoughtfulness...

    Happy days

  14. Hi Marion

    Well the mistletoe is a very Christmassy coloured bird even if the vine is a little different to yours. The Au version is related to the Nth American and the European plant. I wonder if you have this bird. I'll look it up...

    Happy days Marion

  15. What a beautiful little bird. Your posts are always so interesting.
    Sunny :)

  16. Marion

    This bird lives mainly in Au and also is found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. I wonder how your vine seeds are spread...

    Happy days

  17. Lovely bird and bush. Nature teaches us a lot about getting along, working together and the interconnections in the web of life. I wonder if we humans are particularly impaired in seeing the oneness of life? Thank you for reminding us daily about the beauty of the natural world.

    I hope your visit with your mom and dad in Christchurch is full of love and meaning and connection for all of you. Take care, be well, and see you when you return to Hazy Moon.

  18. So very interesting and beautiful photos. Nature IS wonderful! Hope you have a great few days with the family!

  19. So different from our mistletoe! Pretty neat story of birds and poop! Have a great trip!

  20. Yes indeed, nature is wonderful. Beautiful little bird. Enjoy your trip. I wonder what we will find here at Hazy Moon when you get back.

  21. Yes, nature is very cool, all intertwined.

  22. Beautiful bird - yes, I agree, nature is wonderful. Have a safe and enjoyable trip across the ditch!

  23. Goos morning Sunny

    thanks for popping in and taking the time to comment

    Happy days

  24. Hi Dan

    These are good reminders of the oneness of all...

    Thanks for your good wishes Dan...
    Did I tell you my mother broke a bone in her foot and is in plaster!!!

    thanks for stopping by...

    Happy days

  25. Hi Alicia

    How are you this beautiful sunny morning...
    thanks for your kind thoughts

    Happy days

  26. Hi Lorac

    yes it is a bit like that - the wonders of birds and poop...

    thanks for visiting

    Happy days

  27. Hi Ann - another nature lover...

    Hmmmmmmmmm I have posted lots of flowers and the beautiful park from Christchurch before...I wonder what I will see this time...

    Happy days

  28. Hi Ellen

    It is nice to have you visit again...
    there are many connections we don't see or even know of...

    Happy days

  29. Hi Gleaner

    I haven't heard that funny saying for a while...

    thanks for dropping in with your comments...It is so good to see everyone...

    Happy days

  30. I had no idea there was a mistletoe bird! Very lovely, too.

    And though parasitic, at least mistletoe (in America anyway) creates a situation in which people decide to kiss each other. Nothing wrong with that, eh?

  31. Hi Reya
    Nice to see you

    I read that the custom started with enemies meeting under trees with mistletoe and it was a sign to make amends, to lay down weapons...

    nothing wrong with that at all...

    Happy days

  32. Delwyn: That was interesting. I never knew our country had a bird in the woodpecker family. I am impressed by your local knowledge of flora and fauna. Thanks for sharing, next time I'm up in your neck of the woods I pay more attention and look out for some of the birds.

  33. Delwyn I love the mistletoe bird. I have never heard of that before.

    Thank you for your love.

    Renee xoxoxo

  34. I love the picture of the male mistletoe - yes, nature is indeed wonderful and your blog is here to tell us about it.

  35. Hope you have a lovely time.
    I have never heard of this bird. I like learning new things about nature. Helps me play Jeopardy.

  36. Fascinating.... & what a beautiful little bird!

  37. Hi Delwyn,
    Have a wonderful visit in NZ! We have a parasitic vine called Mistletoe here in CO, too - it eventually kills the host tree. Your bird is gorgeous, though.

  38. Symbiotic relationships between plant and animal are fascinating. I’ve never heard of this one before. What a gorgeous bird and plant. Flower pecker – cool! I hope you are enjoying your vacation.


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