White-eared Honeyeaters


White-eared HoneyeaterDistribution / Habitat

The White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis) is found in the south eastern part of Australia, as well as into the south west Australia and into south west of Queensland. It is widespread in the Sydney sandstone region.

The White-eared Honeyeater are not common in agricultural areas, but will be seen in gardens, orchards and vineyards in rural areas. In Sydney they forage in mangroves, dry eucalypt forests and woodlands. They can also be seen in a range of heath, shrubland and scrub habitats, and at a variety of altitudes, from the coast to the tree line in the Southern Alps, but are rarely found in tropical zone.


Description

The White-eared Honeyeater is a medium-sized honeyeater with a strong bill. It is olive-green above with lighter green underparts, shading to a softer yellow underbelly. It has a grey cap; a black face, throat and beak with a distinctive, contrasting white ear-patch.

Males and females look alike in plumage but the males are larger.

Young are duller and browner. Usually seen in pairs or small family groups, and are quite noisy and conspicuous.


Diet

The White-eared Honeyeater feeds mainly on insects, but also nectar, fruit, manna, lerp, and honeydew (insect by-products). They forage under strips of bark or in crevices, mainly of eucalypts, and also feed at wounds on tree trunks.


Breeding

These Honeyeaters usually build their nests close to the ground in shrubs or low trees. They make a deep, thick-walled, open cup, lining it with the fur or hair of mammals.

The hen incubates the eggs alone, but both parents feed the young.

Their nests are parasitized by the Fan-tailed and Pallid Cuckoos, and the Horsfield's and Shining Bronze-cuckoos.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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