Three mistletoe chicks in a nest. Image Credit: Keith Lightbody/Wikimedia
by Becky Crew
LOOK AT THOSE three heavenly little faces, poking out of their pear-shaped nest made from crushed spider webs, egg sacs, plant down and wattle-blossom.
It’s so nice to see baby birds be something other than the ravenous jaw-monsters we’re so used to seeing. Good job, mistletoe babies, A+ behaviour.
Flowerpecker birds (Dicaeidae) from the tropical regions of southern Asia are pretty little songbirds that do a fantastic job at combining the drab greys, greens, olives, whites and tans of their plumage with spectacular washes of colour.
There’s the orange-bellied flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma), with silvery feathers across its back and golden feathers covering its breast, belly, and the base of its tail.
There’s Legge’s flowerpicker (Dicaeum vincens), with soft blue and white plumage offset by a bright, buttercup yellow breast, and then the Cebu flowerpecker (Dicaeum quadricolor), with a plain white underside, black head, blue wings, and a large, triangular ‘coat stain’ of red across its back.
A male Mistletoebird near Lake Ginninderra, Canberra (Credit: Duncan McCaskill/Wikimedia