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18

Brown-headed Honeyeater

(Melithreptus brevirostris)
Aboriginal name(s): Race "leucogenys": "djiok*", "berilberil*" (WA)
Size: 13-14 cm
Weight: 11-20 g (heaviest at the southern end of their range)

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 Brown-headed Honeyeater at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "brevirostris"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Close-up frontal view of an adult Brown-headed Honeyeater
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2017]

Close-up frontal view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2017]

Frontal view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater looking sideways while issuing its territorial call
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

Near-frontal view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater, now producing a much softer, guttural call
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

Near-frontal view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater looking sideways
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Near-lateral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater approaching a waterhole
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Close-up near-lateral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2017]

Near-lateral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Lateral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater checking out the photographer while approaching a waterhole
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2009]

Near-dorsal view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater looking sideways
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

Honeyeater variety bash: Brown-headed on the right, White-eared Honeyeater at the centre and Yellow-faced Honeyeater on the left, all coming together at the local waterhole
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, May 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Family of Brown-headed Honeyeaters at a waterhole...
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, May 2011]

... on the left-hand side one can see a juvenile Brown-headed Honeyeater; note the orange bill and the bluish-grey eye skin crescent
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, May 2011]

Lateral view of a fledgling Brown-headed Honeyeater approaching a waterhole
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2011]

Distant frontal/ventral view of two of in total three fledgling Brown-headed Honeyeaters waiting to be fed by their parents
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2008]

Race "pallidiceps"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an an adult Brown-headed Honeyeater
[Gundabooka NP, NSW, September 2017]

Near-lateral/ventral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater
[Gundabooka NP, NSW, September 2017]

Race "leucogenys"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an adult Brown-headed Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Lake Gilles, SA, June 2023]

Near-frontal view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Lake Gilles, SA, June 2023]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Family clan/small flock

Food, Diet

Brown-headed Honeyeater searching for insects in an ironbark eucalypt
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2013]

Brown-headed Honeyeater prying an insect out of the bark of an eucalypt (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, Doctors Flat Road, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2019]

Frontal/ventral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater with its catch, an insect
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, July 2013]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a Brown-headed Honeyeater foraging for insects
[Near Barraba, NSW, December 2014]

Near-frontal view of Brown-headed Honeyeaters approaching a waterhole together with a White-eared Honeyeater
[Near Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2019]

Near-lateral Brown-headed Honeyeater approaching a waterhole
[Near Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, December 2019]

Lateral view of 2 Brown-headed Honeyeaters having a drink (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, November 2018]

Three species of honeyeaters having a drink: Brown-headed Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater and White-eared Honeyeater
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, November 2018]

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.

brhdhon_20170903.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact calls(?) © MD
brhdhon_20181127_3.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact calls(?) © MD
brhdhon_20181127.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact calls(?) © MD
brhdhon_20141220_3.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Warning call © MD
brhdhon_20181127_4.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Annoyed/upset © MD
brhdhon_20141220_8.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Feeding calls(?) © MD
brhdhon_20191211.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
brhdhon_20210909.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
? (foraging for insects; + Grey Fantail) © MD
brhdhon_20191211_2.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
? © MD
 
brhdhon_20170920.m4a pallidiceps
(W NSW)
Contact calls(?) © MD

More Brown-headed Honeyeater sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

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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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.