Friday, 13 July 2012

New Holland honeyeater

Phylidonyris novaehollandiae

Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:
New Holland honeyeater (en); melífago-de-olho-branco (pt); méliphage de Nouvelle Hollande (fr); mielero de Nueva Holanda (es); weißaugen-honigfresser (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

This species is found throughout southern Australia, including Tasmania, from Brisbane, Queensland, to just north of Perth, Western Australia.

These bird are 18 cm long and weigh 20 g.

New Holland honeyeaters are mostly found in dry scrublands, but also in dry savannas, forests, grasslands, plantations and gardens, especially where Grevillea and Banksia are found.

They mostly feed on the nectar of native flowers, such as Banksia, Hakea, Xanthorrhoea, Grevillea and Acacia, but will also eat fruits, insects, spiders and honeydew.

New Holland honeyeaters breed in June-January. The cup-shaped nest is made of bark and grasses, bound together with spider webs and lined with soft materials. It is placed in a scrub or tree, from ground level up to 6 m above the ground. The female lays 1-3 light pinkish eggs with dark red and grey spots, which are incubated for 11-14 days. The chicks fledge 13-16 days after hatching. Each pair may raise 2-3 clutches per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and, although the population size is yet to be quantified, the New Holland honeyeater is described as common within areas of suitable habitat. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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