One of my favourite birds is the colourful little Mistletoebird, shown in today’s photo. I can’t say it is a resident species in our garden, but it is a frequent visitor. In our district here in Murray Bridge, South Australia, it is a widespread species occurring in small numbers. They are usually only seen singly, occasionally two.
Today my wife and I were working in our garden and a male landed briefly in a nearby Eremophila bush. It stayed only a few seconds before flying off. The male, as shown in the photo, is far more brightly coloured than the female. In the female, the red is a washed out colour and only present under the tail. She also lacks the dark blue-black colour of the male, being mainly plain brown instead.
As I didn’t have my camera with me today, the photo shown above was taken some years ago, also in our garden.
This species has a special place in our records for our home block. Over the 30 years we have lived here we have planted hundreds of trees, shrubs and bushes. The mistletoebird was the first species to make a nest in a tree we had planted. At least – it was the first one we noticed.