Friday, 14 January 2011


Dicaeum hirundinaceum

Photo by Duncan McCaskill (Wikipedia)

Common name:
mistletoebird (en); pica-flores-de-peito-vermelho (pt); dicée hirondelle (fr); picaflores golondrina (es); Rotsteiß-mistelfresser(de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Dicaeidae

This species is found throughout mainland Australia, and also in Papua New Guinea and the archipelagos of Watubela, Aru and Tanimbar in eastern Indonesia.

These birds are 9-11 cm long. They weigh 7,5-11 g.

The mistletoebird is found in any habitat that supports mistletoes, including various forested habitats, savannas and scrublands.

They mostly eat the berries of mistletoes, namely of the grey mistletoe Amyema quandang with which they have a mutualistic relationship. Their diet also includes nectar, pollen, spiders and insects.

Mistletoebirds breed in September-March. The female builds the nest with no help from the male. The nest is made of crushed plants and spider webs, which holds it together and holds it to the tree. There she lays 3 eggs which she incubates alone for 12 days. Both sexes feed the young in the nest until fledging, which takes place 15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
Although the population size is yet to be quantified, the species is described as common throughout its very large breeding range. With no evidence for any declines or substantial threats, the mistletoebird is not threatened at present.

No comments:

Post a Comment