Lewin's Honeyeater

Did you know?

The tip of the Lewin's Honeyeater's tongue is divided into four tiny sections which resemble a feathery 'paintbrush' allowing it to lap up large quantities of nectar at a time.

Calls
The strong 'machine gun' like rattling notes of Lewin's Honeyeater are heard over long distances and reveal its presence in an area.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
20cm
Maximum Size: 
22cm
Average size: 
21cm
Average weight: 
34g
Breeding season: 
September to January
Clutch Size: 
2 to 3
Incubation: 
14 days
Nestling Period: 
14 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
QLD: 
VIC: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
605
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Lewin's Honeyeater is small to medium in size. It is dark greenish grey in colour, with a creamy yellow gape (fleshy corners of the mouth). It has large, yellowish crescent-shaped ear patches. In flight, the pale yellow edges of the flight feathers can be seen. The bill is black and the eye is blue-grey. Both sexes are similar in appearance. Young Lewin's Honeyeaters are similar to the adults, but have brown eyes.

Similar species: 

The overall size and distinctive voice of Lewin's Honeyeater, as well as the shape and size of its ear patch, will identify it from most other honeyeaters. There are two similarly ear-patched but smaller species whose ranges overlap with the Lewin's Honeyeater only in north-eastern Queensland: Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, M. notata, and the Graceful Honeyeater, M. gracilis.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

Lewin's Honeyeater prefers the wetter parts of eastern Australia, from northern Queensland to central Victoria.

Habitat: 

Lewin's Honeyeater is found in both rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest, and often wanders into more open woodland. It is a common bird, and its call is often heard in these areas.

Seasonal movements: 

Sedentary; some altitudinal migration to lower areas in winter.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Lewin's Honeyeaters feed mostly on fruits, favouring berries and small fruits, but also eat insects and nectar. Birds are normally seen alone, but may form loose groups of up to 10 birds. They feed in the upper branches and on the trunks of trees. Some insects are caught in flight.

Breeding: 

The nest is a large cup of vegetation and other materials, bound together with spider web and lined with soft material. The eggs are oval in shape. It is unclear what roles each parent performs in nest building and incubation, but both care for the young birds.

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