Strong-billed honeyeater

Strong-billed honeyeater
Melithreptus validirostris
Photo by Geoff Walker (Bushpea)

Common name:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

The strong-billed honeyeater is endemic to Tasmania.

These birds are 15-17,5 cm long and weigh 25 g.


The Strong-billed Honeyeater is mostly found in mature, wet forest, cool temperate rainforest, wet scrub and heath, and occasionally in parks and gardens. It is often associated with large trees such as Eucalyptus regnans and E. delegatensis.

They mainly eat insects and various other invertebrates, which they hunt on tree trunks, supplemented by nectar and fallen fruits.

These monogamous birds nest in September-January. They form small colonies and nest-building is a communal affair with all the mature birds contributing to construct a small but deep, cup-shaped nest from strips of bark. The nest is lined with soft bark and plant and animal fibres and hangs by its rim from the outer foliage of eucalypts or shrubs. The female lays 2-3 spotted pinkish eggs which are incubated by both parents for 15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, who are assisted by older siblings and other adults in raising young chicks. the chicks fledge 16 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
Although this species may have a restricted breeding range, it is described as common over this range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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