Re: Mistletoebirds

Subject: Re: Mistletoebirds
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 14:04:17 +1000
Dean Portelli wrote:
 I was interested by Carol's
observations of feeding. I recently watched a male Mistletoebird
feeding on
mistletoe in far-western NSW and observed him mandibulate the misteltoe
fruit to break the skin and release the flesh-coated seed into his
mouth, he
then swallowed this and discarded the skin by dropping it. I
investigated a
fruit and found the flesh is very easily broken at one end and the flesh
comes out very easily, but the seed is difficult to separate from the
Is this typical of Misteltoe fruits? And, Carol, could you see the
seed with the skin wiped on the branch?


A good point, and now that I think about it, mistletoe fruits are indeed like this. When you squeeze the skin the middle comes out in one blob, seed and all. But to answer your question regarding my recent observation - I'm pretty sure I saw the seed left discarded onto the branch on at least one occasion. I had an excellent view of the bird from close quarters and remember seeing the bird wiping its bill and the seed hanging by a sticky thread. There were other times the birds just dropped what was possibly only the skin of the fruit.



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