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Black-Headed Honeyeater, Melithreptus affinus

Black-headed honeyeater

Black-headed Honeyeater
Photo by Alan Fletcher

Description

The Black-headed Honeyeater, one of Tasmania's endemic species, is a small (up to 150mm) bird with an entirely black head and throat with a small blue-white crescent over the eye.  The upperparts are olive green and the underparts are grey-white.

It can be distinguished from the Strong-billed Honeyeater, with which it often occurs in mixed flocks, by the completely black head.

Habitat

Common in wet and dry sclerophyll forests, and occasionally found in subalpine and alpine forests to 1200m metres, open woodlands, coastal heaths and low shrub communities. It is also sometimes seen in urban parks and gardens.

Diet

The species feeds on insects high within the canopy, often hanging upside down from branches. It also feeds on nectar, often congregating at flowering trees in spring.

Breeding

The deep, cup-shaped nest is hidden amongst the foliage and is constructed from fibrous bark, grasses and moss. Both sexes build the nest and incubate the eggs. Adults from the previous years brood may assist. Two to three spotted, pinkish eggs are laid.

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Call

The call is a high-pitched "pssip".

Distribution

Found in suitable habitat throughout Tasmania.