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18

Fuscous Honeyeater

(Lichenostomus fuscus)
Size: 15-17 cm
Weight: 17 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Fuscous Honeyeater at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "fuscus"

ADULT

BREEDING

Frontal view of an adult Fuscous Honeyeater
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2011]

Near-frontal view of an adult Fuscous Honeyeater
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, August 2008]

Lateral view of an adult Fuscous Honeyeater
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2011]

NON-BREEDING

Lateral view of a non-breeding Fuscous Honeyeater; note the yellowish gape and base of the bill and the (albeit inconspicuous) yellowish eye-ring (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Leard State Forest, near Maules Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Fuscous Honeyeater in non-breeding plumage approaching a rocky waterhole
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2009]

Some Fuscous Honeyeater acrobatics
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, October 2008]

Lateral view of a Fuscous Honeyeater; this is one of the birds whose calls were recorded on 22 November 2014
[Leard State Forest, NSW, November 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a Fuscous Honeyeater (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Leard State Forest, near Maules Creek, NSW, October 2012]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Fuscous Honeyeater; note the yellow bill with dark tip and the thin yellow eye-ring (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[West Goondiwindi, QLD, June 2014]

Immature Fuscous Honeyeater; here the typical yellowish base of the bill and fine yellow eye-ring are clearly visible; a larger fraction of the bill is yellowish and in adult birds and the colour is brighter, with an orange tint
[Near Barraba, NSW, January 2006]

The same Fuscous Honeyeater as above, with its tongue sticking out
[Near Barraba, NSW, January 2006]

Frontal view of an immature Fuscous Honeyeater; this is one of the birds whose calls were recorded on 22 November 2014
[Leard State Forest, NSW, November 2014]

Near-dorsal view of an immature Fuscous Honeyeater (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Leard State Forest, near Maules Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Dorsal view of an immature Fuscous Honeyeater (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Leard State Forest, near Maules Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Frontal view of a fledgling Fuscous Honeyeater; note the yellowish bill ending in a brownish tip and the still growing tail feathers
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, October 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jul - Jan Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: ca. 14 days Fledging age: ca. 15 days

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Hanging basket Material: Grass stems, bark strips, webs; fine grass, wool or fur lining Height above ground: 1 - 15 m

Fuscous Honeyeater on its nest; note the all-black bill and eye-ring indicative of breeding plumage (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Capertee Valley, NSW, September 2012]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 20 x 15 mm Colour: Light-brown, with mid-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

Fuscous Honeyeaters are the only honeyeaters observed by us so far foraging on bare soil, see photo. It is unknown to us what kind of food they find there.

Fuscous Honeyeater on a hardened dirt road, where it was seen picking at the soil
[April 2009]

Similar to other honeyeaters, Fuscous Honeyeaters have well-defined limits to their range. We have seen a Fuscous Honeyeater only once yet (in May 2014) at Eulah Creek, 20 km East of Narrabri, just 5-10 km further inland than the bushland of Deriah Aboriginal Area and the Nandewar Range, where they are common to abundant.

Food, Diet

Adults: Nectar, insects Dependents: Insects Water intake: Daily

Like many other honeyeaters, Fuscous Honeyeaters do not exclusively feed on nectar, but take insects too.

Fuscous Honeyeater feeding on the nectar of a Mistletoe
[Near Maules Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Lateral view of a Fuscous Honeyeater in breeding plumage searching for insects
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, August 2008]

The same Fuscous Honeyeater as above, slightly different viewing angle, with incredibly different colour perception; now a lot more of the typical olive-green of many honeyeater species can be seen
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, August 2008]

Non-breeding Fuscous Honeyeater feeding on nectar of a lemon-scented eucalypt; this bird's call was recorded on 11 May 2014
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2014]

Immature Fuscous Honeyeater and Yellow-tufted Honeyeater hawking for insects from a Casuarina tree, together with more birds of the same species and with Singing Honeyeaters and White-plumed Honeyeaters, all hunting out of the one tree
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, December 2012]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

fuschon_20141122_3.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
fuschon_20150817.mp3 fuscus
(N NSW)
Contact call © MD
fuschon_20150817_2.mp3 fuscus
(N NSW)
Contact call (abbreviated) © MD
fuschon_20141122_2.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
Q&A © MD
fuschon_20141122.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
Q&A © MD
fuschon_20161024_2.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
Pre-dawn call (repeated many times) © MD
fuschon_20150817_3.mp3 fuscus
(N NSW)
Alarm calls (raptor) © MD
fuschon_20140119.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
Feeding calls? © MD
fuschon_20150905.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
fuschon_20140511.mp3 fuscus
(NW NSW)
? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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