Mistletoe bird in eucalypt blossom

Subject: Mistletoe bird in eucalypt blossom
From: Atriplex <>
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 12:34:35 -0700
Hello, bird people,
A few days ago I watched a female Mistletoe bird moving among Eucalyptus
oleosa (mallee) blossoms, sticking her head into the centre of the
flowers. Since gum flowers are open and shallow in design, with the
nectar easily accessible, I surmise that even a bird with a short tongue
can probably lick it out quite easily, but I was interested that
Mistletoe birds are so adaptable. She could have been foraging for
insects but this in itself would have been interesting, and perhaps even
more unlikely. I know these birds love berries of Schinus molle (Pepper
tree), even though the berries (actually a "drupe", I think) have very
little flesh around their single, hard, seed.
By the way, on the subject of plant terminology, I thought someone might
have helped our American friend by now, by letting him know that
Eucalypt fruits are colloquially called gum nuts!
Regards and Happy Birding!
 Anne Green
Atriplex Services:- Bush Guides, Environment Consultants,
Educators & Growers of Native Plants.
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