Real World Gardener MistletoeBird is Wildlife in Focus

April 27th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with ecologist Sue Stevens

Mistletoe is an air-born parasitic plant that lives off the sap of their hosts, These plants thrive in almost every type of climate and soil in Australia, and are found everywhere Australia wide except Tasmania.
There’s a particular bird that loves the berries of Mistletoe plants, with a really obvious name.

Mistletoe bird

Do you know why mistletoes look like their host plants?
Some botanists think it's because of a hormone within the host that gets into the mistletoe and influences the way it grows.
Mistletoes may also mimic to hide from leaf-loving animals such as possums, 60% of whose diet consists of the leaves of plants.

Mistletoe babies

A good time to look out for the Mistletoe bird is when the berries are obvious on the Mistletoe.
Those living on the coast will see the Mistletoe flowering in spring and summer, but many mistletoes were at their peak of flowering in March, particularly in the drier inland areas.
These bizarre plants are easy to spot when in flower because of their bright antler-shaped orange or red blossoms that stand out against the dark foliage, advertising their nectar to birds.If you have any questions about the Mistletoe bird or even have a photo of one, why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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