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NAZ Audubon Society presents Mistletoes and their relationships with birds in Australia

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Originally Published: October 25, 2023 11:36 a.m.

Mistletoes are hemi-parasitic, shrubby flowering plants that grow on a wide variety of trees and shrubs (their hosts). There are over 90 species of mistletoes in Australia and almost all of them are pollinated and/or dispersed by birds. A few Australian birds eat nothing but mistletoe fruits. In addition to using mistletoes as an important food resource, many birds nest and roost in mistletoe plants. Another interesting aspect of mistletoe biology in Australia is that many mistletoes mimic their host trees to avoid predation by a wide range of Australian herbivores. We’ll examine a few of these interactions between birds and mistletoes in Australia as well as a few examples of mistletoes parasitizing other mistletoes.

Wed. Oct. 25, Sedona Public Library, 5:30 p.m. for social time, program starts at 6 p.m. Presented by Northern AZ Audubon Society. All invited.