Yellow-faced Honeyeater breeding

At Boho South, Summer is the season of honeyeaters, the Yellow-faced Honeyeater in particular. This year they began arriving in early September and have been a ubiquitous presence since. Many pairs have probably had two clutches this season (& maybe there’ll be a third if the rain and mild weather continues). We have adults flying around, hounded by fledged young that can look after themselves, from eggs probably laid in mid-September. I know of a pair that produced a clutch of three eggs on the 17th November and should hatch in perhaps another few days.

The nest was built in the branches and dense foliage of a mint bush (Prostanthera) in the garden. The eggs and nest-construction are quite different to the local White-eared Honeyeater. Yellow-faced Honeyeater eggs are a creamy-pink colour, covered in darkish splotches, whereas White-eared Honeyeater eggs are paler with darker, more distinct and irregular spots.

The nests of local Yellow-faced Honeyeaters are very neat and typically have an internal lining of dry grass, are coated with moss and glued together with spider webs. The nest is attached to two branches and hangs from these; it is not supported below. One White-eared Honeyeater nest found this season was more roughly built, lined with fine mammal hair and woven into the branches with coarse, grassy material. The nest was supported by several small branches and was held in the forks of those branches.

This entry was posted in Birds, eggs, honeyeater, nest. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Yellow-faced Honeyeater breeding

  1. Denis Wilson says:

    Lovely simple nest. Nicely presented in your post.
    Denis Wilson

  2. Thanks Dennis. Yes, the yellow-faced’s nest is a model of simple, sturdy construction and elegant design. Can’t help but think that its so light and strong in large part because of the spider web used to bind it all together – amazingly strong stuff. Interestingly, some birds have learned to use this, you would think, plentiful material very successfully, but the White-eared Honeyeaters clearly have not. I wonder why? Thanks for helping to lead the way in nature blogging.

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