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Key plants used by Australian birds:
(Loranthaceae, Santalaceae)

Aboriginal names: "baan" [gamilaraay, yuwaalaraay, yuwaalayaay], "almurta", "bambil", "binyara", "coolbunna"

Mistletoes are two genera of parasitic plants that host on a variety of other Australian plants. They are propagated by the Mistletoebird. Although propagated by only one bird species, mistletoes play an important part in the lives of many other bird species as a valuable source of nectar and, for some, also nesting space.

Bird species found in this type of habitat or plant

This is not necessarily a complete list. We display here some examples of bird species found by us in this kind of habitat or plant. Hover your cursor on thumbnails to see names of species; click on thumbnail to go to the page describing the species.


This eucalypt tree was obviously the favourite of the local Mistletoebirds

Mistletoe hosting on a wattle

Clump of Mistletoe with budding flowers

Close-up view of the flowers of a Mistletoe hosting on a eucalypt tree

Flowering Mistletoe hosting on a casuarina

Close-up view of a flowers of Mistletoe hosting on a casuarina

Example of a species having a preference for Mistletoe in Casuarinas: Painted Honeyeater
[Near Narrabri, NSW, February 2008]

Close-up frontal view of a male Mistletoebird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Frontal view of a female Mistletoebird collecting nesting material
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Dusky Woodswallow nest on top of the base of a clump of Mistletoe (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2021]


This is not necessarily a complete list. We collate here various ways in which birds can use various types of plant.

Perch Roost Shade Food Nectar Fruit Seed Prey Nest
Shelter Vantage

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.