White-naped honeyeater

White-naped honeyeater
Melithreptus lunatus
Photo by Russell Cockman (Russell’s Astronomy)

Common name:
white-naped honeyeater (en); melífago-de-nuca-branca (pt); méliphage à lunule (fr); mielero nuquiblanco (es); mondstreif-honigschmecker (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

This species is endemic to Australia, occurring in two disjunct populations, one in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country, from northern Queensland to eastern South Australia, and another in the south-western corner of the country.

The white-naped honeyeater is 13-15 cm long and weighs around 13 g.

These birds are found in temperate forests and woodlands, but also in dry savannas, dry scrublands, plantations and urban parks and gardens.

They mostly eat the nectar of a wide range of flowers, but also manna, insects and insect products such as honeydew and lerp.

White-naped honeyeaters can breed all year round, but mostly in September-November. They breed communally, with both the parents and helpers looking after the young, although only the female incubates the eggs. The female builds a small open cup nest made of grass, bark and spider webs, placed high up in a tall tree, usually Eucalyptus. She lays 2-3 shiny buff-pink eggs with red-brown spots, which she incubates alone for 14 days. The chicks fledge 14-15 days after hatching. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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