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White-plumed Honeyeater

White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula pencillata) perched on thin branch of tree in partial shade
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Scientific Name: Lichenostomus penicillatus 

Size: 15 to 17 cm

What does it look and sound like?

The White-plumed Honeyeater is common and familiar throughout the majority of the Australian Mainland.  Although the intensity of the overall colouration may change slightly throughout its wide range, it is predominantly olive-grey on the body with a paler yellow-olive face.  The name is derived from a conspicuous white line, edged with black, which is visible at the base of the cheek. The bill is black when breeding, which may occur at any time of the year, and dusky with a yellow base at other times. The voice is a repetitive ‘chickawee’. 

Where is it found?

The White-plumed Honeyeater occurs over most of the Australian mainland, but is absent from the far north, north-east and south-west. 

What are its habitats & habits?

Its preference for the more open habitats has lead to the species being a familiar sight in to urban parks and gardens, where it readily feeds on introduced plant species.  In more natural areas, it is found in most woodland areas, favouring those adjacent watercourses.  The White‑plumed Honeyeater is generally seen in small groups that move busily through the canopy area, feeding on a variety of insects, spiders, berries and honeydew, a sugary secretion produced by nectar-feeding insects.  

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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