Bluedog Spots A Mistletoe Bird at Kingfisher Bay Resort - Fraser Island, Australia

Fraser Island Bird Week - May 8-15
Blog excerpt taken from - Images and words by Danielle Lancaster, Blue Dog Photography.

This morning I finally photographed a male Mistletoe Bird, Dicaeum Hirundinaceum. Now while not uncommon in certain areas, such as within the grounds of Fraser Island's Kingfisher Bay Resort, what makes them a difficult subject is that they are so busy.

These tiny birds, only 10-11cm, have a brilliant scarlet throat and under-tail that catches, not only the sun but also the eye of any avid bird watcher. Well, the boys do. Mistletoe Birds are known to show marked "sexual dimorphism". What this means is that the males get to be flamboyant in their colourings while the females are far less glam.

Early morning insects have them snapping their beaks as they dart swallow-like in flight, fluttering and calling to their mmates in the bush surrounding the resort. They have sharp little voices but a choice of calls including a high double note and a warble.

We had joined Ivor Davies, Group General Manager of Kingfisher Bay Resort (see above) for a bit of bird spotting. Ivor is a keen twitcher and knows his 'bird stuff'. Indeed, he's just returned from a trip to the Red Centre where he added a futher 10 birds to his personal spotters' list.

He not only tells, but also acts out the performance of the Mistletoe Bird, a canopy bird, passing the digested mistletoe and how it ever so gently wipes itself along the branch three times - only three -bobbing between each wipe. It's a rather elegant performance from a six foot three man. The wealth of information on birds acquired not only on Fraser Island but across the world over years, flows eagerly.

Visit for the full wrap up.