Honeyeater visitations

Two things, neither that remarkable, but worth a note nonetheless.

First, a new visitor to the home garden – an immature White-eared Honeyeater. This species is relatively common in the local bush, more so during the cooler months, but this is the first time I can recall one in the garden. Secondly, a Blue-faced Honeyeater skulking with intent around the top bar beehive next door. Whilst I didn’t actually observe the honeyeater foraging on the hive it was showing a lot of interest, perhaps attracted by the ‘bearding’ bees congregating on the outside of the hive*. After I disturbed it the bird flew into the flowering ironbark on our block where is started feeding in a more traditional manner.

A small group of Blue-faced Honeyeaters are now well established in town and I hear their distinctive harsh calls most days.

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 30th December 2019

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The lemon wash on the ear coverts and olive crown signify that this bird is an immature. Adult White-eared Honeyeaters have a steel grey crown and the ear patch is completely white.

White-eared Honeyeater (immature)

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Note: The original version of this post incorrectly suggested that the honeyeater was attracted to honeycomb on the outside of the hive … it wasn’t honeycomb (I should have got closer to confirm!) but was in fact the occupants exhibiting a behaviour known as ‘bearding’ in an effort to cool down the hive. Click here for more information … thanks Janet!

3 responses to “Honeyeater visitations

  1. Happy New Year Geoff!

  2. Happy and a wet New Year, Geoff!

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