A male Mistletoebird not willing to wait for the fruit of the Strawberry Jam tree (Muntingia calabura) to ripen properly to its soft pink hue. Even when still green the fruit are not particularly hard and the bird is able to soften it enough by squeezing it in its bill for a while before swallowing. We love seeing Mistletoebirds about the garden, they are one of our favourites and we grow the Strawberry Jam tree especially for them as it seems rarely without fruit which means that these delightful little birds can be frequently observed.
Re the growing of exotics on our Nature Refuge.
In the HHZ (human habitation zone) which is excluded from our Nature Refuge we are permitted to grow exotics as long as we ensure they don’t spread outside their designated area. We impose our own strict criteria so that only the polite plants, those happy to stay within their designated area, are welcome in our garden.
The female Mistletoe bird is more subtle in her colouring but none the less beautiful for that.
I forgot to mention that the Strawberry Jam tree isn’t a particularly long-lived tree and because we have a lot of Mistletoe growing in ours (what a surprise!) its life span is further compromised. We do propagate replacements just to indulge these cheery, colourful little birds.