Yellow-faced honeyeater

Yellow-faced honeyeater
Lichenostomus chrysops

Photo by David Piko (David L Piko Photography)

Common name:
yellow-faced honeyeater (en); melífago-de-faces-amarelas (pt); méliphage à joues d’or (fr); mielero carigualdo (es); dreistreifen-honigfresser (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

This species is found in eastern Australia, from north-eastern Queensland to Victoria and south-eastern South Australia.

These birds are 15-17,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 21,5-26 cm. They weigh 12,5-20,5 g.

The yellow-faced honeyeater is found in a wide range of habitats, mainly in open sclerophyll forests, but also in riparian woodlands, moist tropical forests, dry savannas, scrublands, coastal heathland, plantations, rural gardens and parks and gardens within urban areas.

They feed on nectar, pollen, fruits, seeds, honeydew and invertebrates. They are known to eat at the flowers of silver banksia Banksia marginata, heath-leaved banksia Banksia ericifolia, fern-leaved banksia Banksia oblongifolia, mountain devil Lambertia formosa and green spider flower Grevillea mucronulata. Among their invertebrate prey are insects such as flies, mosquitoes, midges, and beetles, as well as spiders.

Yellow-faced honeyeaters are monogamous and breed in July-March. The nest is a fragile cup, made of grasses and moss and lined with hair, namely of koala Phascolarctos cinereus. It is placed in an understory scrub, close to the ground. The female lays 1-3 pinkish-white eggs with reddish-brown spots and blotches. She incubates the eggs alone for about 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13 days after hatching, but remain in the parental territory for another 2 weeks. Each pair may raise 2-3 clutches per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 100.000-1.000.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the introduction of exotic predators, as well as habitat degradation through land clearing, grazing and infestation by exotic weeds.

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