Australian Bush Birds
Yellow-faced Honeyeater  -  Lichenostomus chrysops
Yellow-faced Honyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater in typical pose on top of a tree at Casino, NSW in August.
Yellow-faced Honyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater at Glen Innes, NSW in early December.
map map The Yellow-faced Honeyeater - Lichenostomus chrysops - has plain grey-brown wings and upper parts; underside is off-white streaked with pale grey. Tail is grey-brown without white tips. Crown is grey-brown; there is a yellow stripe under the eye from base of bill to a white tuft at neck level; yellow line is bordered above and below by deep black stripes. Small white spot over the eye. Eye is blue-grey, bill black, feet grey-brown.

Males and females similar in appearance, immatures are similar to adults but duller overall, with browner plumage and brown eyes. Length 16 to 17 centimetres.

Lives in a range of habitats from coastal scrub to open woodland; found from the Atherton Tableland south along the Great Dividing Range through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria extending to Mt Lofty in South Australia. Breeds in south-eastern Australia and, from March to May, travels north along the Great Dividing Range in flocks of 100 or more, often in company with White-naped Honeyeaters. Most migratory movement takes places in the morning.

Yellow Honeyeater - page 2
Winter is spent wandering around eastern Queensland, coastal northern New South Wales frequently following blossoms to eat manna. In spring they return south to breed; small flocks drift south between August and October to end in wet and dry sclerophyll forests for breeding. Flocks break up into nesting pairs establishing their own territories which are defended with extensive singing from high points.

They are active foragers in foliage of trees, shrubs and low heath feeding mainly on manna in summer and autumn and nectar in spring. At any time they glean insects from twigs and foliage and take them on the wing when possible.

Breeds between July and March; most nest late in the season beginning from October to February. The nest is a small cup of fine grass and bark bound with cobweb, sometimes camouflaged with moss or lichen. The nest is bound to a small fork of outer branches of a tree or shrub, up to 7 metres above the ground.

Two or three, rarely four, eggs are laid; light pink, blotched with browns and reds, more at the larger end; oval, about 21 by 14 millimetres. Incubation takes about 14 days and the young fledge in about 13 days.

Similar Species. The Varied, Singing and Mangrove Honeyeaters also have yellow facial stripes but do not have black bands below the yellow. The Bridled Honeyeater is a larger bird which has a partly yellow bill.