Blue-faced Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Australia has many honeyeaters with over sixty different species. I have recorded ten different species in our garden, with all except three being resident breeding species. They are a constant delight as many of them frequently visit the various flowering plants around our property as well as visiting our bird baths many times a day.

One beautiful species that does not visit our garden is the Blue-faced Honeyeater shown in the photos on this page. This is a widespread species across the northern and eastern parts of Australia, except for the extreme south-east. Its preferred habitats include open forests, along water courses, woodlands, parks, gardens, golf courses, farmlands and along roadside vegetation.

The bird shown in these photos was seen in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in north-west Victoria while on a brief visit in September 2007.

For additional reading about honeyeaters click here.

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Blue-faced Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater

 

20 Responses to “Blue-faced Honeyeater”

  1. John Tongue says:

    Hi Trevor,
    WE holidayed at Hattah (among other places) in Sep. and one of the first birds to “mob” us while we were setting up camp was a Blue-faced Honeyeater. Then we didn’t see any more for the rest of our stay!

  2. Trevor says:

    I’ve actually had them turn up in a few unexpected places over the years, meaning that I didn’t expect to see them in certain places. Then on other occasions I’ve hoped to see them – only to be disappointed. Something of an enigma bird for me.

  3. Vicki Bancroft says:

    Hi
    The picture you have of the blue faced honeyeater above, is in abundance on our 5 acre property at Humpty Doo in Darwin. I would like to know if it is safe to feed them bread cut into small pieces. We have been doing this, but sometimes I find them dead in our garden and I know its not our dogs, as they are old and not capable of catching them.
    Please advise.
    Kind Regards

  4. Trevor says:

    Hi there Vicki,

    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for leaving a comment and a question.

    Most experts agree that it is unwise to feed wild birds, especially with bread. Most honeyeaters are either nectivorous (nectar eating) or insectivorous (insect eating) and many eat both. Bread and most other human food is not part of their normal diet and it is actually harmful and can cause choking and death.

    Don’t be tempted to provide honey for honeyeaters either – it is very hard to get the mix just right and I think it’s actually illegal (something to do with attracting bees).

    The most effective way of attracting and keeping birds to your garden is to plant trees and scrubs suitable to your local environment and providing water suitable for the birds to drink and bathe in.

    For more information read these articles:
    http://www.trevorsbirding.com/attracting-birds-to-your-garden/
    http://www.basq.org.au/facts/feedbirds.htm

  5. Debra says:

    Hi, I’ve been aware of the blue-faced honeyeater visiting my part-native-garden located at the edge of the Great Divide in a village setting, for several seasons. the little guys seem to visit at the beginning of Autumn and leave at the beginning of winter. From my observations they seem to love to eat nectar especially grevillia flowers. Nothing I’ve so far read has told me about migration habits, but they seem to have some regular ones! DebS

  6. Kira says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if someone can shed some light on a strange bird call. I have been living in central west nsw for the last 10 yrs and for the last two summers have noticed this repetitive load call that increases in pitch, this call reminds me of summers spent camping on the mid north coast. The only unusual bird I have noticed is the blue faced honey eater, that has also coincidently arrived at the beginning of spring and is visible for a period and seems to disappear shortly before the load calling begins, the bird is nearly impossible to sight as it’s often perched in very tall conifers. This bird has sparked quite a few comments from neighbours and many opinions as to its name/ identity, I suspect it’s one and the same, could this be correct?, where could I find a sound recording to identify it? Thank u Kira … p.s I can hear it now hhmmmm

  7. Trevor says:

    Hi there Kira,

    From your description it doesn’t sound like a Blue-faced Honeyeater – but then most bird calls are hard to put into writing.

    You can hear a recording of this honeyeater’s call on the Birds in Backyards web site here:
    http://birdsinbackyards.net/bird/154

    It could be a cuckoo.

    Brush cuckoo http://birdsinbackyards.net/bird/175
    Pallid Cuckoo http://birdsinbackyards.net/finder/display.cfm?id=52

    Hope you can solve the identity of your mystery bird.

  8. Trevor says:

    Hi Debra,

    I’m terribly sorry.

    Somehow your comment and question slipped through without an answer. I was very busy at the time and I get many comments and emails every day so it can happen easily enough.

    As far as my field guides indicate Blue-faced Honeyeaters are not migratory in the normal sense ie they do not move great distances. Not like the Rainbow Bee-eaters for example which migrate from SE Asia and northern Australia to southern NSW, Victoria and SA to breed. Certainly not like some of our wading birds which breed in Siberia.

    But they do move. The guides use the terms nomadic or locally migratory. This means that they may only be moving a few kilometres up to 50 or even 100 km. and back again. This is often but not always in response to seasonal fluctuations in the abundance of food.

    The Handbook of Australian NZ and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB) quotes many examples of local movements, some on a regular and even seasonal basis. In other places the BF Honeyeater is resident all year.

    In summary then, some BFHEs are loyal to one location, while others are rather shifty characters. (Please excuse the puns – I’m in a silly mood!)

    Again – apologies for not answering sooner.

  9. Kira says:

    Hi Trevor, Finally I was able to sight the bird high up in the canopy, it’s the Common Koel, and I have also found & listened to the sound recording from this site http://birdsinbackyards.net/bird/54 which was spot on .. mystery solved. Know at least we know what’s keeping us all awake.
    Cheers
    Kira

  10. Trevor says:

    Thanks for that Kira. I should have thought of the Koel. Not the most popular of our birds – especially when they keep people awake. Fortunately we don’t get them here in South Australia.

  11. Kira says:

    It’s ok we have made a huge investment in some ear plugs. Cheers
    Kira

  12. Trevor says:

    What’s that Kira?? Speak up – I can’t hear you!!! LOL

  13. Danny Gallagher says:

    Have not seen these birds before. Several have turned up fighting with the local Magpies in my garden at Shepparton. Does anyone know if they are normally found in this area?

  14. Trevor says:

    Hi Danny,

    Blue Faced Honeyeaters are more common further north than Shepparton but not unexpected in your area. This is approaching their southern limits in Victoria but they can occur as far south as Bendigo. While I have only limited birding experience in your area I have recorded this species in the Bendigo Botanic Gardens (Sept 2007)

  15. sarah says:

    hey trevor
    ive just foound a baby Blue faced honey eater his mum was dead, i was just wondering what to feed him until i can find a place to take care of him.
    thanks

  16. […] and headed south towards Ouyen. We had planned to visit one of our favourite places for lunch: Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. This park has two distinct habitat types: mallee and spinifex in large parts of the reserve, and […]

  17. […] doing something interesting or unusual or even bizarre. While having lunch at Lake Hattah in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park earlier this year I noticed and photographed these two Galahs in a very private […]

  18. viki says:

    Hi
    The picture you have of the blue faced honeyeater above, is in abundance on our 5 acre property at Humpty Doo in Darwin. I would like to know if it is safe to feed them bread cut into small pieces. We have been doing this, but sometimes I find them dead in our garden and I know its not our dogs, as they are old and not capable of catching them.
    Please advise.
    Kind RegardsYou may use these HTML tags and attributes:

  19. […] and quite unafraid when approaching humans, especially when food is on offer. When camping in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park (NW Victoria) on a number of occasions years ago we experienced this species hopping onto our […]

  20. Glenys Greaves says:

    Hi Trevor. I’ve had my very first sighting yesterday and again today.
    . . of a Blue faced honey eater and family I’m guessing. . . .5 in total, in my suburban backyard in Bendigo area Central Victoria. I had a hard time identifying them, but was so pleased to find out what they are. Beautiful birds with a cute call. We have some flowering gums in our yard so maybe that’s what has attracted them.

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