Recently I was given a special gift, a copy of the Australian Bird Guide, a marvellous new handbook/field guide written by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers and Rohan Clarke, and beautifully illustrated by Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin.
I’ve been dipping into the book most days and enjoyed the descriptive notes and illustrations of my local birds. It was only today when reading the entry on the White-eared Honeyeater, having seen a couple that afternoon on Demo Track, that I discovered the taxonomists have been busy! This species has, for as long as I can remember, gone by the scientific name Lichenostomus leucotis. It is now Nesoptilotis leucotis. The genus Lichenostomus has undergone a significant revision, having been split into a series of new genera – Nesoptilotis, Ptilotula, Gavicalis, Stomiopera, Caligavis and Bolemoreus, with two species (Yellow-tufted and Purple-gaped Honetyeater) remaining in the now greatly diminished Lichenostomus. It’s going to take me a while to come to terms with these new monikers.
The White-eared Honeyeater remains a striking bird nonetheless. A winter migrant to this part of the box-ironbark, it can be found year round not far south around Yandoit. Its distinctive and loud ‘chwok, chwok, chwok’ calls ring for quite some distance on a still day and clearly announce its presence.
Click here to read a review of the Australian Bird Guide at one of my favourite birding blogs, The Grip.