Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - New Holland Honeyeater

These guys live in the dunes right next to the beach. They flit and flutter around with willy wagtails and other birds but they have never posed before. Then this guy sat up very nicely and held a lovely pose for me, two days in a row - which allowed me to come home and suss out exactly what sort of Honeyeater he was, and find the best photo!

Here's a website and some information about them:

New Holland Honeyeaters are active feeders. They mostly eat the nectar of flowers, and busily dart from flower to flower in search of this high-energy food. Other food items include fruit, insects and spiders. Birds may feed alone, but normally gather in quite large groups. Most feeding takes place in lower areas of bushes and thickets.

With long, slender beaks and a tongue which can protrude well beyond the end of their beaks, New Holland Honeyeaters are able to probe for nectar in the deep flowers of Banksias and Grevilleas.

The New Holland Honeyeater's cup-shaped nest is made of bark and grasses, bound together with spider web. It is lined with soft material and is placed in a bush or tree, anywhere from ground level up to 6 m. Both sexes feed the chicks. A pair of adults may raise two or three broods in a year.

They mainly breed in summer and winter, but can be any time of the year. They have 2 to 3 eggs that incubate for 18 days, with chicks in the next for a further 16 days. (That's my kind of rearing - super quick!)

The Australian Museum site has a gorgeous photo of the bird on a nest. You can see it here.

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