berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistle Thrush , MistleGO , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history , surveying mistletoe

MistleGO! A new mistletoe survey launched!

Posted on:

A brand new mistletoe survey has just been launched by the Tree Council and Oxford University, as an app-based citizen science project to assess the state of mistletoe in Britain. Not just where is it, but what quantities exist. This is new, and exciting, as it will help determine what is happening with mistletoe here -it seems to be spreading more and faster, but we need a new study to assess this, and to create […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , Orchard

Return to Pentwyn, to see mistletoe plantings

Posted on:

A visit to the small orchard at Gwent Wildlife Trust’s  Pentwyn Farm Nature Reserve, in Gwent, almost but not quite in the Wye valley (and not to be confused with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust’s Pentwyn Farm Nature Reserve in Radnorshire). Way back in February 2011 I led a mistletoe workshop here, during which we planted mistletoe seeds, from ripe berries, on some of the trees – that’s nearly 13 years ago now, so I wanted to […]

Biodiversity , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Science , social history , toxicity

The Journal of Ecology has a new, and long-planned, mistletoe paper

Posted on:

There’s a new, multi-authored, mistletoe paper just published in Journal of Ecology, which has been years in the making! It’s part of the British Ecological Society’s long-running series ‘Biological Flora of the British Isles‘, in which every paper covers the biology and autecology of just one species.  In this case mistletoe, Viscum album.  You can read the promotional blog (How green is kissing under the mistletoe?) about it on the Journal website here, but don’t […]

Blogroll , Mistletoe , Orchard

Wotta Lotta Mistletoe

Posted on:

Car included to give scale.  That really is a lot of mistletoe!  Some as big as the car. On poplars in Church Lane, Bentham, between Brockworth and Shurdingon on the A46 in Gloucestershire. It’s a location I’ve been to many times before, but this year those mistletoe growths really do look massive.  And unsustainable – at least some will probably break off in winter storms. I was in the area today to look at the […]

berries , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Wintertime is show time for mistletoe 

Posted on:

Mid November: Mistletoe berries are whitening up nicely now – and with every host tree’s leaves now nearly all fallen any mistletoe is becoming very obvious , if you’re lucky enough* to have some! This late autumn phenomenon, of mistletoe suddenly ‘appearing’ within the host (even though it’s been there all year long, obscured by host leaves) is a key part of the magic of mistletoe. It is indeed a very wintery plant, only conspicuous […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science

Can mistletoe save the honeyeater?

Posted on:

The Regent Honeyeater, Anthochaera phrygia, an Australian bird, was once so common that its call was heard everywhere. Today, following much habitat loss over several decades, plus recent bushfires, it is endangered, with just a few hundred left. Indeed it is so rare that young males can no longer learn their mating calls, there being insufficient older males for them to learn from.  No mating call = no mating. Which makes a bad situation even […]

berries , Biodiversity , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Other parasites , Science

Growing your own, for the common good, in NZ

Posted on:

My recent post about the new mistletoe-eating bird in Borneo reminded me of several other exotic (to us in Britain) mistletoe stories. One particular story from last year came to mind – a project in New Zealand where local residents were being given mistletoe seeds in an effort to re-establish local mistletoe species. The project, based in Christchurch, involved the collection of seeds by local ecologists and then the doling out of 20 seeds each […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science , tropical mistletoe

The Spectacled Flowerpecker – a new bird that likes mistletoe

Posted on:

Ten years ago, deep in the Borneo rainforest, a new species of bird was spotted feeding on berries from one of the local mistletoe species.  Small, grey but quite pretty it was given the name Spectacled Flowerpecker – but not, at the time, a formal scientific name because that needs formal examination and description – which means a bird in the hand, not in the bush. The preliminary announcements about it in 2010 hailed it […]