|Australian Bush Birds|
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|Lewin's Honeyeater - Meliphaga lewinii|
Lewin's Honeyeater - Meliphaga lewinii - has a dark olive-green to olive-brown back with a dark head and grey-tinged crown. Wings and tail are dark grey-brown to olive-brown, feathers have pale yellow edges. Forehead is dark grey, lighter on the crown, becoming more olive towards the nape. Breast is grey with darker mottling or streaks; undersides are uniformly mid to pale olive-green with faint grey mottling. Male and female are similar, males are larger. Length 19 to 22 centimetres. Legs and feet are grey.
Face and head are marked by squarish to crescent shaped pale yellow ear tufts; the gape extends as a creamy-white line from the base of the bill to curve under the eye. Eye is mid-blue-grey, bill is black.
Inhabits rainforest and fringing growth with a marked preference for wetter forest or woodland. Lewin's Honeyeater has a well-known fondness for soft fruit, especially bananas, and is considered by some to be a pest.
|Lewin's Honeyeater - page 2|
Large, soft fruit is pecked at until the skin is pierced then pieces are broken off and eaten. Small fruit is eaten whole. Fruit is taken on trees or on the ground.
Lewin's Honeyeater is found from Victoria (Melbourne) along the east coast and ranges to north Queensland (around Cooktown). Several races have been proposed in different schemes; the most likely arrangement is two races; one (lewinii) found from Victoria to the central Queensland coast and the other (amphochlora) above 200 metres elevation in the McIlwraith Ranges on eastern Cape York between Cooktown and Thursday Island.
¶ Genus Meliphaga is in the large Family Meliphagidae containing honeyeaters and chats.
¶ English Names include Yellow-eared Honeyeater, Bananabird, Orangebird, Brasseye.
¶ External appearance is similar to two other species: Meliphaga notata (Yellow-spotted Honeyeater) and Meliphaga gracilis - (Graceful Honeyeater) but the latter two species are restricted to far north Queensland around Cape York.