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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
The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater has white cheek with brown or gray streak under the cheek; black tipped bill with reddish color extending to gape; dark eye-line extends to ear coverts; light brown or cinnamon throat extends to upper-breast; creamy white breast with short brown streaks; white tipped tail.
Image by: 1) Kevin  2) Graham_Winterflood  3) Nik_Borrow   4) Georgie_Sharp



Genus Acanthorhynchus

These spinebills are found in Australia

Spinebill, Eastern  Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris  Found: Australia
The male Eastern Spinebill has gray-brown upperparts; black head; brownish-red nape; whte throat with reddish patch. Female is smaller and duller
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
The Western Spinebill has gray upperparts; black head; red throat band; white ear patch.
Image by: 1, 2) Julia Gross  Keith_Lightbody  4) Ralph_Green
1, 2) Female 3, 4) Male



Genus Anthochaera
These wattlebirds are found in Australia

Honeyeater,_Regent  Anthochaera phrygia  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Jessica Bonsell  2, 3) Tony Morris  4) Michelle_Bartsch


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
The Red Wattlebird has dark brown crown, forehead; slightly paler nape with white streaks; whitish triangular face patch.
Image by:  1) Oystercatcher   2) Mick Stephenson  - Victoria, Australia   3) Peripitus  4) Andreas_Trepte  5) JJ Harrison - Melbourne Australia  6) 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
The male New Zealand Bellbird has mainly olive-green plumage; dark purple sheen on head; black outer wing and tail. Female a duller olive-brown; yellowish-white curves from base of bill to below eye.
Image by: 1) Glen Fergus   2) Dick Daniels  3) Sid_Mosdell 4) Kahuroa 
1, 2) Female 3, 4) Male



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  2) Dave_Curtis - South Australia



Genus Bolemoreus

These species were previouslyin genus Lichenostomus

Honeyeater,_Bridled   Bolemoreus frenatus  Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) Summerdrought  3) Francesco_Veronesi - Queensland


Honeyeater,_Eungella   Bolemoreus 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  2) Brian_McCauley



Genus Caligavis
These species used to be place in genus Lichenostomus.

Honeyeater, Black-throated  Caligavis 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, Obscure   Caligavis 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,_Yellow-faced  Caligavis chrysops  Found: Australia
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater has grayish-brown to olive-brown upperparts; pale grayish-brown chin, throat, breast; light gray belly; yellow eye-line with black upper and lower borders.
Image by: 1) MDK572  2) Benjamint444  3) flagstaffotos.com  4) Brett Donald 5) David Cook - NSW, Australia




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) Dave_Curtis 2. 3) Ron Knight
1) Female / juvenile  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) julie_burgher - western Australia  2, 3) David Cook - Queensland, Australia  4) sunphlo - Western Australia
1) Juvenile



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
The male Crimson Chat has brown upperparts; red crown, underparts; black mask; white throat. Female similar but paler.
Image by: 1) Jim_Bendon - Western Australia   2, 4) Glen Fergus - South Australia  3) Tom Tarrant    5) Ron_Knight
1, 2) Female 3, 4, 5) Male



Chat,_Orange  Epthianura aurifrons  Found: Australia
The male Orange Chat has yellowish-orange head, underparts; black lores, throat. Female has mottled gray-brown upperparts; pale fawny-yellow underparts.
Image by: 1) Dave_Curtis - South Australia  2) Ron Knight  3) JJ_Harrison / Christopher Watson
1) Female / juvenile 2, 3) Male


Chat,_White-fronted  Epthianura albifrons  Found: Australia
The male White-fronted Chat has gray upperparts; white face and breast bordered by black band across breast and nape; brown wings, tail; white belly. Female has brown upperparts; white underparts; dark breast-band.
Image by: 1) David Cook  2) Mdk572  3, 4) birdsaspoetry  5, 6) JJ Harrison 
1, 2, 3) Female 4, 5, 6) Male



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 Gavicalis
These species used to be place in genus Lichenostomus

Honeyeater, Mangrove  Gavicalis fasciogularis   Found: Australia
Image by: 1, 2) Tom Tarrant - Deception Bay, Se Queensland, Australia 


Honeyeater,_Singing  Gavicalis virescens   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Peter_Jacobs  2) John_Manger  3) Kazredracer  4) Wampy


Honeyeater,_Varied   Gavicalis versicolor   Found: Austrlia
Image by: 1) Tom Tarrant - North Queensland, Australia   2) Dominic_Sherony  3) summerdrought 



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


Honeyeater, Yellow-tufted  Lichenostomus melanops   Found: Australia
The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater has olive-green upperparts; more olive-yellow underparts; yellow crown, throat; black mask; yellow ear-coverts.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee Yap - Brisbane Ranges, Victoria, Australia     2, 3) David Cook - Rocky Hall, NSW, Australia  4) Arthur_Chapman



Genus Manorina
These miners are found in Australia

Miner,_Bell  also Bellbird Manorina melanophrys  Found: Australia
The Bell Miner has mainly olive-green plumage; darker on wings; yellower on underparts; orange legs; red-orange bare-spot behind eyes; black lores; yellow patch in front of eyes.
Image by: 1) Oystercatcher  2)  David Cook  3) Allison_Roberts


Miner,_Black-eared  Manorina melanotis  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) David Cook  2) Richard Wilson  3) Ron_Knight


Miner, Noisy Manorina melanocephala   Found: Australia
The Noisy Miner has mainly gray plumage; darker wings; black band over crown; grayish-white underparts; bright orange-yellow bill.
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Tasmania, Australia 2) Oystercatcher   3) Dave_Curtis   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) David_Cook  4) Andreas_Trepte 



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  3) birdsaspoetry


Honeyeater, Black-headed  Melithreptus affinis  Found: Australia
The Black-headed Honeyeater has olive-green upperparts; black head.
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) David Cook - NSW  3, 4) Patrick_K59


Honeyeater,_Gilbert'salso Western White-naped Honeyeater Melithreptus chloropsis  Found: southwestern Australia
The Gilbert's Honeyeater has olive-green upperparts; white underparts, arc above eye, crest on nape.
Image by: 1) Eve Parry


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  3) Lip Kee - Northern Territory  4) David_Cook



Genus Nesoptilotis
These species were previously in genus Lichenostomus.

Honeyeater,_White-eared Nesoptilotis leucotis   Found: Australia
Image by:   1, 2) David Cook - NSW  3) Ron_Knight - Tasmania


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



Genus Phylidonyris
These honeyeaters are found in Australia

Honeyeater,_Crescent  Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus   Found: Austrlia
The male Crescent Honeyeater has dark upperparts with yellow wing patches; broad black crescent on breast outlined in white. Female duler than male.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) JJ Harrison 4) David Cook - Rocky Hall, NSW, Australia
1, 2) Female 3, 4) Male


Honeyeater, New Holland  Phylidonyris novaehollandiae   Found: southern Australia
The New Holland Honeyeater has mainly black upperparts; yellow margins on wing and tail feathers; white facial tufts; black and white streaked underparts.
Image by: 1) Louise Docker  2) David Cook  - Booderee National Park, ACT, Australia  3) Dick Daniels  4) Oystercatcher


Honeyeater,_White-cheeked  Phylidonyris niger Found: Australia
The New Holland Honeyeater has mainly black upperparts; yellow margins on wing and tail feathers;
 white cheek; black and white streaked underparts. Image by: 1) Ralph Green - Perth    2) Summerdrought  3) Leo



Genus Plectorhyncha - 1 species

Honeyeater, Striped  Plectorhyncha lanceolata   Found: Australia
The Striped Honeyeater has mainly grayish-brown upperparts; stripes on head and neck; whitish underparts with faint streaks on belly.
Image by: 1) Aviceda - Samsonvale Cemetery, SE Queensland, Australia   2) David Cook - NSW  3) Mdk572



Genus Prosthemadera - 1 species

Tui  Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae   Found: New Zealand
The Tui has a brown back, flanks; multicolored iridescent sheen; white bell on throat.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Kiwi Birdlife Park   2) Sid_Mosdell  3) Matt Binns   4) David Cook - Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland Province, North Island, New Zealand



Genus Ptilotula
These species were previously in genus Lichenostomus

Honeyeater, Fuscous Ptilotula fusca   Found: Australia
Image by:   1, 2 Lip Kee Yap - NSW, Australia  3) David Cook - Australian National Botanic Gardens 4) Patrick_K59
1) Juvenile 2, 3) Female 


Honeyeater,_Gray-fronted   Ptilotula plumula  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Summerdrought  2) Nik_Borrow


Honeyeater,_Gray-headed   Ptilotula keartlandi  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Tom Tarrant  2) Christopher Watson  3)JackSnipe1990   4) Summerdrought - Queensland


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


Honeyeater,_Yellow-plumed  Ptilotula ornata  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) David Cook  2) julie_burgher  3) Nik_Borrow  4) Peter Jacobs


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



Genus Purnella - 1 species

Honeyeater, White-fronted   Purnella albifrons  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Peter Jacobs  2) David Cook  3) Brian_McCauley



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  4) Geoff_Whalan - NT


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



Genus Stomiopera
These species were formerly in Lichenostomus.

Honeyeater, White-gaped   Stomiopera unicolor  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Grahame  2) Francesco Veronesi  3) Geoff_Whalan


Honeyeater,_Yellow Stomiopera flavus   Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Lepidlizard    2) David Cook - Queensland  3) john skewes  4) JJ_Harrison



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) Tom_Tarrant - Queensland  2, 3) Mdk572  4) Ron_Knight
1, 2) Female 3, 4) Male



Genus Trichodere - 1 species

Honeyeater,_White-streaked Trichodere cockerelli  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Graeme Chapman  2) Summerdrought



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  4, 5) Jerry_Oldenettel



Honeyeater,_Spotted  Xanthotis polygrammus   Found: New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) Joseph Smit  3) mehdhalaouate


Honeyeater,_Tawny-breasted   Xanthotis flaviventer  Found: Australia, New Guinea
The Tawny-breasted Honeyeater has mainly dark brown upperparts with olive-green tinge.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Katerina_Tvardikova







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