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18

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: 11-20 g

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 .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "lunatus"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of a White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill SF, near Anstead, QLD, August 2017]

Frontal view of the top of the head showing clearly why White-naped Honeyeaters deserve their name
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2011]

White-naped Honeyeater drying its plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Near-lateral view of a soaking wet White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Lateral view of a White-naped Honeyeater looking at the observer (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Hillview Court Reserve, Dayboro, QLD, May 2020]

Lateral view of a White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, March 2018]

Lateral view of a White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Lateral view of a wet White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill SF, near Anstead, QLD, August 2017]

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

Lateral view of a White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Wondecla, QLD, July 2020]

Near-dorsal view of a White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a juvenile White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, February 2018]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile White-naped Honeyeater (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, February 2018]

Race "chloropsis"

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

ADULT

Sex unknown

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]

Ventral view of a 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.

Nest

"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

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

Near-frontal view of a White-naped Honeyeater collecting nest material
[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]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = 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]

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

Lateral/ventral view of a White-naped Honeyeater foraging for lerps, using its tail as a prop...
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2012]

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

Vental view of a White-naped Honeyater with a caterpillar; the latter tried to put up resistance, but inevitably lost the contest
[Oxley Wild Rivers NP, NSW, August 2015]

White-naped Honeyeater drinking at a waterhole (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Forest Reserve, near Anstead, QLD, August 2017]

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.

wnaphon_20220601.m4a lunatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
wnaphon_20220601_2.m4a lunatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
wnaphon_20220601_4.m4a lunatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
wnaphon_20220601_3.m4a lunatus
(NW NSW)
? (+ Silvereye) © MD

More White-naped 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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