White-fronted Honeyeater

Did you know?

In hot weather, adult White-fronted Honeyeaters may straddle nests to shade their young.

Calls
Variety of loud calls, including harsh metallic notes and cheerful melodic song: 'pert-peetoo-weet'.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
13cm
Maximum Size: 
18cm
Average size: 
16cm
Average weight: 
18g
Breeding season: 
August to November
Clutch Size: 
One to three, usually two.
Incubation: 
12 days
Nestling Period: 
11 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Associated Plants
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
594
What does it look like?
Description: 

The White-fronted Honeyeater is a medium-sized honeyeater with a white face mask and 'moustache', a long, strong, curved bill and has a grey cheek patch. The throat and upper chest is black to brown, speckled white, the back is dark brown and the underparts are white, streaked black, with a reddish-brown streaked rump and brown grey undertail. There is a small pink-red eye spot behind the red-brown eye and the brown wings have yellow panels. Young birds resemble adults but are paler and lack the bold face markings.

Similar species: 

While adult White-fronted Honeyeaters are hard to confuse with other species, the young may be confused with female or young Crescent HoneyeatersP. pyrrhoptera. However, they tend to be darker, with a prominent dark 'bib' and more streaking on the underbody, and have very different calls.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The endemic White-fronted Honeyeater is found throughout western New South Wales, western Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, mainly in the arid and semi-arid zones. It may also be found at scattered sites in the Northern Territory and is a rare visitor to the western arid zone of Queensland.

Habitat: 

The White-fronted Honeyeater is found in arid and semi-arid shrublands and woodlands, especially mallee and acacia scrubs. May be found in semi-arid coastal areas, such as the Great Australian Bight. Is occasionally found in dry open forests and woodlands, and may be found along roadsides and occasionally in gardens.

Seasonal movements: 

Highly mobile and seasonal visitor to some areas, in association with flowering of food plants.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The White-fronted Honeyeater feeds mainly on nectar, but also on insects and sometimes honeydew. It forages mainly at flowers in trees and shrubs, and may be seen feeding in mixed flocks with other honeyeaters e.g. Brown, Singing or Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters.

Breeding: 

The White-fronted Honeyeater may breed semi-colonially, with a large number of nesting pairs in same area. The female builds the cup-shaped nest low in a small shrub, on top of a stump or in a clump of spinifex. The nest is woven from grass, bark, stems, spider web and roots, and is lined with plant down, wool, grasses, fur, cotton threads or paper. The female incubates the eggs and brood the young, with both parents feeding them. Nest predators include the Western Brown Snake. Nests may be parasitised by Pallid Cuckoos or Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos.

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