Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Three Species of Melithreptus Honeyeater Feeding Together

There can't be too many places where three mainland species of Melithreptus honeyeater can be found feeding together in the same trees. This morning, at Moy Pocket in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I had Black-chinned Honeyeater (above), White-naped Honeyeater and White-throated Honeyeater feeding together.

A group of four Black-chinned Honeyeaters was feeding with the other two species in eucalypt trees adjacent to a nice patch of lowland rainforest near the Mary River. The Black-chinneds were particularly vocal but often cryptic in the foliage high up in the trees. The group kept tightly together over the couple of hours I was watching the honeyeaters. Moy Pocket has proved to be a reliable winter site for Black-chinned Honeyeater, a rare species in south-east Queensland.

White-naped Honeyeater is generally uncommon in south-east Queensland and appears to move from the mountains to lowland eucalyptus forest in winter.

They were in small numbers today, with some birds feeding within a few metres of the Black-chinneds.

White-throated Honeyeater is by far the most common Melithreptus honeyeater in south-east Queensland and there were a few this morning feeding with the other two species. The fourth mainland Melithreptus honeyeater, Brown-headed, occurs further west in southern Queensland.

Red-backed Fairy-wren is always a pleasure and the males are back in full breeding plumage, although a few retain it over winter.

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