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HONEYEATERs and their Allies

Order Passeriformes   Family Meliphagidae

Honeyeaters and the Australian chats make up the family Meliphagidae. It is a large and diverse family of small to medium sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea, but also found in New Zealand, and the Pacific islands as far east as Samoa and Tonga. Although honeyeaters look and behave very much like other nectar-feeding passerines around the world (such as the sunbirds and flowerpeckers), they are unrelated, and the similarities are the consequence of convergent evolution.

Honeyeaters prefer to flit quickly from perch to perch in the outer foliage, stretching up or sideways or hanging upside down at need. These birds are one of only a few birds in the world that can fly backwards. This is because of their special wings. In addition to nector, honeyeaters eat insects. The honeyeaters with long, fine bills are more nectarivorous, the shorter-billed species less so, but even specialized nectar eaters like the spinebills take extra insects to add protein to their diet when they are breeding. Many genera have a highly developed brush-tipped tongue, longer in some species than others, frayed and fringed with bristles which soak up liquids readily. The tongue is flicked rapidly and repeatedly into a flower, the upper mandible then compressing any liquid out when the bill is closed.

The genus of family Meliphagidae are found on 3 web pages: Australia, New Guinea, Pacific islands.


Genus  Acanthagenys - 1 species

Honeyeater, Spiny-cheeked  Acanthagenys rufogularis  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Kevin  2, 3) David Cook - Gluepot Reserve, South Australia and Cocoparra National Park, NSW, Australia



Genus Acanthorhynchus

These spinebills are found in Australia

Spinebill, Eastern  Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Glen Fergus  2, 3) JJ Harrison - Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australia   4, 5) David Cook  -  Wamboin, NSW, Australia
1, 2) Female  3, 4, 5) Male



Spinebill, Western  Acanthorhynchus superciliosus    Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) Julia Gross



Genus Anthochaera
These wattlebirds are found in Australia

Honeyeater, Regent  Anthochaera phrygia  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Jessica Bonsell  2, 3) Tony Morris


Wattlebird, Little Anthochaera chrysoptera  Found: Australia
Image by:  1) Oystercatcher  2) JJ Harrison  3) Charlie Westerinen -  Coffs Harbor, Australia  4) Dick Daniels


Wattlebird, Red  Anthochaera carunculata  Found: Australia
Image by:  1) Oystercatcher   2) Mick Stephenson  - Victoria, Australia   3) Peripitus  4) JJ Harrison - Melbourne Australia  5) Dick Daniels. Identified by Igor Cecar.



Wattlebird, Western
  Anthochaera lunulata  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) D. Gordon E. Robertson


Wattlebird, Yellow  Anthochaera paradoxa  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) Noodle Snacks - Austin's Ferry, Tasmania, Australia  3) David Cook - Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia
3) Juvenile



Genus Anthornis - 1 species

Bellbird, New Zealand  Anthornis melanura  Found: New Zealand
Image by: 1) Dave-O  2) Glen Fergus  3) Kahuroa  4) Dick Daniels



Genus Ashbyia
- 1 species

Chat, Desert also Gibber Chat also Gibberbird   Ashbyia lovensis  Found: Australia
The male Desert Chat has washed out brown crown, back of neck, back, wings; yellow face, throat, belly. Female similar but more brown around throat, face, neck; over all duller.
Image by: 1) Ron Knight



Genus Certhionyx - 1 species

Honeyeater, Pied   Certhionyx variegatus  Found: Australia
The male Pied Honeyeater has black upperparts, head, neck; white underparts; black tipped tail. Female has brown upperparts, gray-white chin; whitish breast streaked and spotted dark brown; white underparts.
Image by: 1) Andy and Gill Swash  2. 3) Ron Knight
1) Female 2, 3) Male



Genus Cissomela - 1 species

Honeyeater, Banded   Cissomela pectoralis  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Geoff Whalan  2) sunphlo
1) Juvenile



Genus Conopophila
All these honeyeaters are found in Australia, one is also found in New Guinea

Honeyeater, Gray  Conopophila whitei  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Steve Murphy


Honeyeater, Rufous-banded  Conopophila albogularisFound: Australia, New Guinea
The Rufous-banded Honeyeater has brown upperparts; gray head; white chin, throat; yellow on wing edges;  whitish underparts with diffuse brown breast-band.
Image by: 1 Katerina Tvardikova 2) Lip Kee   3, 4) Geoff Whalan


Honeyeater, Rufous-throated  Conopophila rufogularis  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) David Cook - Ingham, Queensland, Australia



Genus Entomyzon- 1 species

Honeyeater, Blue-faced also Bananabird Entomyzon cyanotis   Found: Australia, New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina Tvardikova  2, 7) Arthur Chapman 3) Trisha Shears 4) Benjamint444   5) David Cook  6) Karelj  8) Dick Daniels - National Aviary 
2) Juvenile




Genus Epthianura
These chats are found in Australia

Chat, Crimson  Epthianura tricolor  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Aviceda  2, 3) Glen Fergus - Lower Cooper Creek, South Australia
1, 2) Male  3) Female


Chat, Orange  Epthianura aurifrons  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Ron Knight


Chat, White-fronted  Epthianura albifrons  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) David Cook  2) JJ Harrison  3) Mdk572


Chat, Yellow  Epthianura crocea  Found: Australia
The male Yellow Chat  has yellowish-brown back; gray-olive crown, nape; bright golden- yellow underparts, forehead; black crescent breat-band. Female similar to male with paler yellow and no breast-band.
Image by: 1) Ron Knight  2) Peter



Genus Grantiella - 1 species

Honeyeater, Painted  Grantiella picta  Found: Australia
The male Painted Honeyeater  has black upperparts; small white spot on ear covert;  bright yellow on wings, tail; white underparts; gray legs. Females are paler.
Image by: 1) Aviceda - S. Queensland, Australia  2) Stuart Harris



Genus Lichenostomus
These honeyeaters are found mainly in Australia, some in New Guinea

Honeyeater, Black-throated  Lichenostomus subfrenatus  Found: New Guinea
The Black-throated Honeyeater has olive-brown upperparts; darker olive-brown underparts; yellow gape; dull yellow patch around eye;  orange crescent behind eye-patch; irregular white patch on side of neck.
Image by: 1, 2) Katerina Tvardikova


Honeyeater, Bridled   Lichenostomus frenatus  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) Summerdrought


Honeyeater, Eungella   Lichenostomus hindwoodi  Found: Clarke Range west of Mackay in Queensland, Australia
The Eungella Honeyeater is endemic to the Eungella range and tends to move out from rainforest to the drier open woodland in the winter months.
Image by: 1) Dan Burndred


Honeyeater, Fuscous Lichenostomus fuscus   Found: Australia
Image by:   1, 2 Lip Key Yap - NSW, Australia  3) David Cook - Australian National Botanic Gardens
1) Juvenile 2, 3) Female 


Honeyeater, Gray-fronted   Lichenostomus plumulus  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Summerdrought


Honeyeater, Gray-headed   Lichenostomus keartlandi  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Tom Tarrant  2) Christopher Watson  3)JackSnipe1990


Honeyeater, Mangrove  Lichenostomus lewinii   Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) Aviceda - Deception Bay, Se Queensland, Australia 


Honeyeater, Obscure   Lichenostomus obscurus  Found: New Guinea
The Obscure Honeyeater has olive-brown upperparts; darker brown on mantle; dusky gray forecrown; whitish gape; yellowish triangular lore patch; yellowish arc under eye; yellow patch behind eye arc.
Image by: 1, 2) Katerina Tvardikova


Honeyeater, Purple-gaped Lichenostomus cratitius   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Bushie   2) Ron Knight


Honeyeater, Singing  Lichenostomus virescens   Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 4) David Cook  - Bowra Station, via Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia   2) Wampy - Cape Schanck, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia  3) Tom Tarrant - Bowra, SW Queensland, Australia


Honeyeater, Varied Lichenostomus versicolor   Found: Austrlia
Image by: 1) Aviceda - North Queensland, Australia     2) summerdrought


Honeyeater, White-eared Lichenostomus leucotis  Found: Australia
Image by:   1, 2) David Cook - Wamboin, NSW, Australia


Honeyeater, White-gaped   Lichenostomus unicolor  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Grahame  2) Francesco Veronesi


Honeyeater, White-plumed  Lichenostomus penicillatus   Found: Austrlia
Image by: 1) David Cook - Cocoparra National Park , NSW, Australia   2) Aviceda - Sundown NP, S. Queensland, Australia   3) Brett Donald


Honeyeater, Yellow Lichenostomus flavus   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Lepidlizard    2) David Cook - Queensland  3) john skewes


Honeyeater, Yellow-faced  Lichenostomus chrysops  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) flagstaffotos.com  2) Brett Donald 3) David Cook - Green Cape, Ben Boyd National Park, NSW, Australia


Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed  Lichenostomus ornatu  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) David Cook - Gluepot Reserve, South Australia  3) Peter Jacobs


Honeyeater, Yellow-throated Lichenostomus flavicollis   Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) KeresH   3, Noddle Snacks - Austins Ferry, Tasmania, Australia


Honeyeater, Yellow-tinted   Lichenostomus flavescens  Found: Australia, New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina Tvardikova  2, 3) Summerdrought


Honeyeater, Yellow-tufted  Lichenostomus melanops   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Lip Kee Yap - Brisbane Ranges, Victoria, Australia     2, 3) David Cook - Rocky Hall, NSW, Australia



Genus Manorina
These miners are found in Australia

Miner, Bell  also Bellbird Manorina melanophrys  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Oystercatcher  2)  David Cook


Miner, Black-eared  Manorina melanotis  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) David Cook  2) Richard Wilson


Miner, Noisy Manorina melanocephala   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Tasmania, Australia 2) Oystercatcher   3) Quarti - Canungra, Queensland, Australia   4) Dick Daniels - Australia


Miner, Yellow-throated  also White-rumped Miner  Manorina flavigula  Found: Australia
Image by: 1)  Peter Nijehnuis   2)  Michael Barritt and Karen May   3) Jerry Oldenettel - east of Darwin, Australia  4) David Cook - Willandra National Park, NSW, Australia



Genus Melithreptus
These honeyeaters are found in Australia

Honeyeater, Black-chinned Melithreptus gularis  Found: Australia
The Black-chineed Honeyeater has olive-brown upperparts; pale underparts; black head, nape; yellowish arc above eye; white stripe at back of head.
Image by: 1) John Gould  2) Sunphlo


Honeyeater, Black-headed  Melithreptus affinis  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Tasmania, Australia  2) Alan Fletcher  3) David Cook - Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia


Honeyeater, Brown-headed  Melithreptus brevirostris  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2, 3) David Cook - Wamboin, NSW, Australia


Honeyeater, Strong-billed Melithreptus validirostris  Found: Tasmania (Australia)
The Strong-billed Honeyeater has olive-brown upperparts; pale gray underparts; black head, chin; white crescent shape patch on nape; white throat.
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison  2) Dave Curtis


Honeyeater, White-naped  Melithreptus lunatus  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) David Cook 


Honeyeater, White-throated Melithreptus albogularis  Found: Australia, New Guinea
The White-throated Honeyeater has ollive-green upperparts; white underparts; black head; white arc above eye; white stripe at back of head.
Image by: 1) Katerina Tvardikova  2) Geoff Whalan- NT Australia  3) Lip Kee - Northern Territory, AU



Genus Phylidonyris
These honeyeaters are found in Australia

Honeyeater, Crescent  Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus   Found: Austrlia
Image by: 1, 3, 4) JJ Harrison  2) David Cook - Rocky Hall, NSW, Australia
1, 2) Male  3, 4) Female


Honeyeater, New Holland  Phylidonyris novaehollandiae   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Louise Docker  2) David Cook  - Booderee National Park, ACT, Australia  3) Dick Daniels  4) Oystercatcher


Honeyeater, White-cheeked  Phylidonyris nigra  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Ralph Green - Perth  



Genus Plectorhyncha - 1 species

Honeyeater, Striped  Plectorhyncha lanceolata   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Aviceda - Samsonvale Cemetery, SE Queensland, Australia   2) David Cook - Weddin Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia.



Genus Prosthemadera - 1 species

Tui  Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae   Found: New Zealand
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Kiwi Birdlife Park   2) Tony Wills 3) Matt Binns   4) David Cook - Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland Province, North Island, New Zealand



Genus Purnella - 1 species

Honeyeater, White-fronted   Purnella albifrons  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Peter Jacobs  2) David Cook



Genus Ramsayornis
One of these honeyeaters is found only in Australia, the other in Australia and New Guinea

Honeyeater, Bar-breasted  Ramsayornis fasciatus   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Lip Kee Yap in Northern territory, Australia  2, 3) Tony Brown


Honeyeater, Brown-backed  Ramsayornis modestus  Found: Australia, New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina Tvardikova  2) David Cook - Cairns, QLD, Australia 3) Tony Morris - Abbatoir Swamp , Julatten Queensland 4) Jerry Oldenettel - Cattana wetlands, Australia



Genus Sugomel - 1 species

Honeyeater, Black
  Sugomel nigrum  Found: Australia
The male Black Honeyeather has black and white plumage; female has speckled brown plumage.Both have a long down-curved bill.
Image by: 1, 2) Mdk572



Genus Trichodere - 1 species

Honeyeater, White-streaked Trichodere cockerelli  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Graeme Chapman



Genus Xanthotis
These honeyeaters are found in Australia, New Guinea, and Fiji

Honeyeater, Kadavu  Xanthotis provocator  Found: Fiji
The Kadavu Honeyeater has grayish-green upperparts; yellowish-green bare eye patch.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) weedmandan


Honeyeater, Macleay's  Xanthotis macleayanus  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Queensland  2, 3) Greg Schechter


Honeyeater, Spotted  Xanthotis polygrammus   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) mehdhalaouate







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