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White-naped Honeyeater

(Melithreptus lunatus)
Alternate name(s): "Lunulated Honeyeater", "Blackcapped Honeyeater*", "Blackcap*"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "chloropsis": "djiok*", "berilberil*", "djinki", "bongin" (WA)

Size: 13-15 cm
Weight: 13 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 White-naped Honeyeater at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "lunatus"


Lateral view of a White-naped Honeyeater
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2011]

This photo shows clearly why White-naped Honeyeaters deserve their name
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2011]

Note the comparatively short bill of White-naped Honeyeaters compared with other types of honeyeaters (use drop-down menu above to look at other species)
[Girraween NP, QLD, July 2009]

Two White-naped Honeyeaters foraging for lerps in a eucalypt tree
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2012]

Here a view of a White-naped Honeyeater's olive-green/grey back that is typical of many species of honeyeaters
[Girraween NP, QLD, July 2009]

Race "chloropsis"

This race is also called "Gilbert's Honeyeater", "Swan River Honeyeater" or the "Western White-naped Honeyeater".


Lateral view of a White-naped Honeyeater; note the white eye-skin characterising the bird as race "chloropsis" (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Albany, WA, January 2015]

White-naped Honeyeater foraging for insects (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Albany, WA, January 2015]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jul - Jan Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 14 days Fledging age: 14 - 16 days

White-naped Honeyeaters usually breed twice per season.


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

Type: Hanging basket Material: Bark fibres, grass stems, webs Height above ground: 3 - 15 m

White-naped Honeyeater collecting nesting material; again the characteristic white nape is clearly visible
[Near Barraba, NSW, October 2006]

White-naped Honeyeater still tearing away...
[Near Barraba, NSW, October 2006]

... until it gets entangled in the stuff
[Near Barraba, NSW, October 2006]


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

Size: 20 x 14 mm Colour: Light-brown, with brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Food, Diet

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

White-naped Honeyeaters feed mostly on nectar, e.g. from Swamp Mahogany trees and various box gums. We have also seen them taking lerps.

This White-naped Honeyeater has found a fair-sized larva (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Albany, WA, January 2015]

Close-up view of a White-naped Honeyeater foraging for lerps...
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2012]

... with success! White-naped Honeyeater with its catch
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2012]

This White-naped Honeyeater was hunting, probably for insects, in an eucalypt tree when its calls were recorded
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2014]

The caterpillar tried to put up resistance, but the White-naped Honeyeater inevitably won the contest
[Oxley Wild Rivers NP, NSW, August 2015]


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.

wnaphon_20161006.mp3 lunatus
(Ctl W NSW)
Contact calls © MD
wnaphon_20150817_2.mp3 lunatus
Contact calls? (mob) © MD
wnaphon_20140402_5.mp3 lunatus
Annoyed call © MD
wnaphon_20150817_3.mp3 lunatus
Various (mob) © MD
wnaphon_20150817.mp3 lunatus
Various (mob) © MD
wnaphon_20140402.mp3 lunatus
? © 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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