The New Holland Honeyeater is an active fast flying bird that rarely sits still long enough to give you time to have a good look at it. So this was a great #1 bird photography challenge.
What does it look like?
It is an attractive and distinctive bird: black with white streaks and a patch of yellow on the wing and the tail, which as this photo shows is far more visible in flight than at rest. It has white facial markings: a small white ear patch and another at the base of the bill. The eye is also white. It is a small bird, about 16 to 19cm long and very, very fast.
Did you know?
The New Holland Honeyeater was one of the first bird species to be scientifically described in Australia which was then called New Holland, hence the name given to this endemic honeyeater.
How does it behave?
It normally can be found in the company of other New Holland Honeyeaters where they forage amongst the flowers, often giving the appearance that there are more birds in the bush than there really is due to their activity! It mostly eats the nectar of plants which it gets with its relatively long, curved beak. It darts from flower to flower in search of this energy rich food. It can also feed on small insects caught on the fly.
Where is it found?
The New Holland Honeyeater lives in forest, heath and woodland in Southern Australia, particularly where grevillea and banksias are plentiful.
The photos were taken at Jan Juc, Victoria, along the coastal track, using the Canon EF100-400 on full zoom, hand held. After a few attempts at capturing these fleeting critters, I found this little fellow. He was far too busy preening himself to worry about me. The new lens is a hit! Click on any of the photos to display in full screen.