New Holland Honeyeaters breeding

One of my readers left the following comments and question on a post from last year about New Holland Honeyeaters:

We’ve been watching a pair of New Holland Honeyeaters building their nest in an ornamental tree in our courtyard in Kensington (SA). Really been lovely to watch them.
Do they stay together as mates?

That is a very good question Tony. It is one I hadn’t given all that much thought to, so I had to do my research.

Leave them in peace:

It is indeed a great delight to watch birds nesting and as they go about feeding the young. The urge to breed is very strong and they will tolerate people going about their daily lives only metres away. If you have birds nesting in your garden, try not to disturb them too much.

Breeding behaviour:

The pair that have mated and built the nest will generally feed the young together. In some bird species only the female sits on the eggs and feeds the young while the male defends the territory (for example, Australian Magpies). In other species the whole thing is a cooperative affair. With the Australian Fairy-wrens for example, the whole extended family will build the nest and feed the young.

Monogamous pairs:

As far as New Holland Honeyeaters are concerned they tend to breed in monogamous pairs; they stay together as mates for the entire breeding cycle. They will often breed several times in a season. If still alive the next breeding season they will also bond together again as a pair.

Again, my thanks to Tony for a great question.

Further reading:

New Holland Honeyeater

New Holland Honeyeater

 

16 Responses to “New Holland Honeyeaters breeding”

  1. […] over to Trevor’s Birding to find out what is new in Australia. What luck! His newest post on New Holland Honeyeaters is quite interesting and they are so […]

  2. Brenton Head says:

    New Holland Honeyeaters are such beautiful birds. I enjoy watching them so much.In my garden I enjoy the chasing that occurs between thew New Hollands and the White-plumed Honeyeaters. A great site Trevor, I have only just discovered it! Brenton.

  3. Trevor says:

    Thanks for visiting Brenton. I am pleased that you enjoyed my blog. I try to add a new article every day, often with photos I have taken so I invite you to return often and leave comments and questions as appropriate.

  4. […] New Holland Honeyeaters breeding […]

  5. terry s says:

    Have a nest in our wisteria and noticed two young chicks not old enough to fly lying dead on brickpaving. Would the parents have abandoned them or doves involved nesting close by? The day before I found one chick alive on the ground and put it back in a make shift nest. Next day found two chicks on ground dead. Meanwhile the two parents are busily flying about when I go near wisteria tree

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Terry,

      Welcome to my site. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a few comments and a question.

      What most people don’t realise is that the attrition rate in young birds is extremely high. There are many predators who take a huge toll on them, including hawks, owls, magpies, currawongs – even reptiles. Many of the smaller birds like honeyeaters will have up to 4 broods per breeding season in an attempt to have 1 or 2 survive to adulthood.

      Another potential “culprit” that most people forget about is cuckoos. We have 15 different species in Australia and none of them make the traditional “cuckoo” call like the English cuckoo (as in the clock).

      Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species. The cuckoo chick usually hatches first and within a short time of hatching it tosses all the other eggs out of the nest – or, if they have already hatched, it will toss out the chicks.

      It’s a tough, wild world out there for a baby chick, but the cuckoo’s survival depends on this strategy.

  6. Sue says:

    We have just become “grandparents” or a single chick right outside my husband’s home office window in a large avocado tree. It has been entertaining watching the parents incubate and now raise their baby – room service runs all day without respite, as far as we can tell!

    It’s very gratifying to see they are being left alone to raise their chick, after the devastation we felt when a willie wagtail nest outside our front window was ripped apart by ravens, and all for what? A tiny mouthful or two.

    So we’re cheering them on and can see the baby grow – it had a feeding lesson this morning and should be able to go out of the nest soon.

    It seems odd that they are nesting in the February heat, but if they raise more than one clutch in a year, it figures.

    • Sue says:

      We are in Perth and have just become “grandparents” of a single NH chick right outside my husband’s home office window in a large avocado tree. It has been entertaining watching the parents incubate and now raise their baby – room service runs all day without respite, as far as we can tell!

      It’s very gratifying to see they are being left alone to raise their chick, after the devastation we felt when a willie wagtail nest outside our front window was ripped apart by ravens, and all for what? A tiny mouthful or two.

      So we’re cheering them on and can see the baby grow – it had a feeding lesson this morning and should be able to go out of the nest soon.

      It seems odd that they are nesting in the February heat, but if they raise more than one clutch in a year, it figures.

  7. SueC says:

    We have a pair building a nest in our glory vine which is strung under the net roof of our cat enclosure. The enclose runs the lenth of the side verandah, to the side fence, so it is a substantial area. The parents have built a sturdy nest on top, through the net and in the vine, right in the centre and in the thickest of the new vine growth.

    They are able to get into our cat enclosure by sitting on the net and”falling” in. They have no problem going out at speed, on the wing
    . Inside we have camellia, potted citrus and a large area of nasturtium, a source of water, and a whole lot of insects the bigger birds can’t access. Blackbird used to be able to get in before he got too big.

    Our cats have no way of getting to them, and the birds seem to realize they pose no real threat.

    I am hoping the nest will be successful, as I am quite willing to share the yard and have been planting grevillea, banksia, and another nectar bearing plants for the honeyeaters benefit.
    They also love the sprinkler and come immediately when i put it on, and seem quite at ease with us being in their garden so I a hoping we won’t disturb them if they lay eggs and have nestlings.

  8. Pam Dunsford says:

    I used to have up to 25 NH in my gaden and probably it was the blackbirds that scared them away – or rats that ate the ir eggs. I’ve now piut in a bird box on a pole to beat the rats… Can anyone advise what sort of feeding they need – any advice appreciated

  9. Leanne says:

    I rescued a chick from a busy corner in Wooloongabba recently. First I thought it was noisy minor. On day 3 I sat Alphonse on the clothes line as I hung out washing thinking he could assimilate with other noisy minor. After 3 minutes a noisy minor swooped down and knocked him savagely onto the ground, at the feet of Ricky Martin (my cat) who know not to touch him. My neighbour hear the commotion and helped me to identify him.
    My question to anyone who can help: what should I feed him?
    Thanks in advance for your help

  10. richard hayes says:

    i have some new holland honeyeaters nesting in my back yard and its only the 27/2/2018 is this common at this time of year.

    regards Richard Hayes Bunbury WA

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Richard, Many species of honeyeater will breed throughout the year, often in response to suitable conditions. If there is plenty of nectar available nearby, they will respond by breeding.

  11. Anne says:

    from Perth…Are NHH keen on shiny objects as we have one that has been admiring my blue glazed pot and is constantly dancing around the outside and tapping on the reflection. Now it’s sitting inside the pot constantly flying in and out appears to be very happy doing this. ? Is this a common feature ? During summer this bird was sitting on our curved BBQ lid which is made from stainless steel and glass and constantly pecking and sliding down the lid. This happened several times a day. Seemed to really enjoy the experience. I do have video of this behavior. What is this bird up to?

  12. Lucia Dulin says:

    I have a honeyeater wanting to nest in a planter box but it is in front of a mirror and it is obsessed with it. Should I remove the mirror? Thank you.

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Lucia,
      Yes – remove the mirror for the time being. They think that their image in the mirror is another bird and are trying to chase it away. In the same way, many species of birds are attracted to car mirrors and windows.

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