New Holland Honeyeaters
New Holland Honeyeaters are a common Australian bird, especially in parks and gardens. Good views of them can be easily had as they flit to and fro from bush to bush. Sometimes they even sit still enough for good views of their beautiful markings. On rare occasions they even sit long enough to capture a photograph!
This stunning photograph was taken a few days ago while looking over our neighbour’s fence. The bird posed long enough for me to take several shots. The green object it is perched on is the handle of a small hand operated plough. Our neighbour has several old farm implements in his front garden.
Over the years I have been interested in the occurrence of New Holland Honeyeaters in our garden. They are probably the most numerous and widespread species of honeyeater in the Murray Bridge region. In the first 15 years of us living here they were only occasional visitors to our garden and patch of mallee scrub. I have kept monthly records of all birds seen on our property since January 1985. My database of bird observations (BirdInfo – which is no longer available) shows a sudden increase of observations in late 1998. From that time to the present New Holland Honeyeaters have been the predominant honeyeater species here.
Other species of honeyeaters recorded here include:
Red Wattlebird: resident, breeding species.
White Plumed Honeyeater (resident, breeding)
Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater (resident, breeding)
Striped Honeyeater (occasional visitor, one breeding record)
White-Eared Honeyeater (occasional visitor)
Yellow Plumed Honeyeater (occasional visitor)
Singing Honeyeater (resident, breeding)
Brown-Headed Honeyeater (resident, breeding).
You can find photos of many of these honeyeater species, including photos, by searching on this site, or clicking on the species name (not all have links).
One possible explanation of this change is the maturing of many of the native Australian plants we have planted over the years. Our property is now far more bird welcoming than, say 15 years ago.
Update: this post was updated on November 5th, 2013.
Great photo of the Honeyeater on the plough
Thanks for the info. We reside at Warrnambool in Victoria and there are plenty of these New Holland Honeyeaters around. They seem to disappear in mid summer and come back in late autumn. I just wondered where they went. I haven’t seen their nests around here though. We only have a limited number of small native bushes around ehre. They absolutely go beserk when the Bottle Brushes emrege in flower.
Thanks for your comments Rod. I have wonderful memories of a few days spent in one of the caravan parks in your area about seven years ago. The movement of some honeyeaters is not yet fully understood. They seem to appear just when some plant species are beginning to flower. Here in Murray Bridge they seem to be resident around the year, so there must be enough flowering all the time to provide enough food. I too, have noticed how they can go ballistic when the Callistimons (Bottle Brushes) are in flower. They can be very noisy too!
This post was updated on 5th November 2013.