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A New Holland, almost!

August 21, 2019

The flowering of plants in late winter and early spring marks the beginning of the nectar wars when honeyeaters spend the day frantically defending their food sources. In our district a black and white bird with a yellow wing patch flashing through the foliage (and sometimes that’s all you see) usually means the New Holland Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) are back in town (pictured left).

Maree from Junction Hill, who recently provided photos for the blog on the Mantis Parasitic Wasp she observed outside her kitchen window, noticed a ‘yellow-flashed’ honeyeater in her loquat tree recently. It looked like a New Holland Honeyeater…but not quite. After spending hours trying to get a clear photograph of the bird, the pictures (right and below), showed it to be a Crescent Honeyeater (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus), not seen by Macwake, our resident ‘birdo’, in the King Parrot Valley since 2008.

Crescent Honeyeaters inhabit dense eucalypt forests and woodlands in coastal southeast Australia, breeding in the high country in summer and moving to lower altitudes in autumn and winter. They feed primarily on nectar but also consume fruit and invertebrates such as scale insects.

Pairs of birds form long term socially monogamous relationships. Even though territories are defended by the males the species is sexually promiscuous with females often wandering into other territories to mate.

For Marie this was a ‘lifer’, first ever observation of this species. I’m heading up to Marie’s this weekend. I want a lifer too.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    August 21, 2019 4:15 pm

    Wow how amazing! certainly a wonderful ‘lifer’. Thank you Marie for sharing!!

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