A blue faced honeyeater feeds from a Calliandra flower.
A blue faced honeyeater feeds from a Calliandra flower.

BRIGGSY’S BIRDS: Best way to attract Blue-faced honeyeater

THE Blue-faced Honeyeater gets its name from the bright blue patch of skin around its eyes. Both sexes are the same but the immature birds have a green patch of facial skin.

The upperparts and wings are a golden olive green, and the underparts are white, with a grey-black throat and upper breast.

It is called the Banana Bird in tropical parts because it feeds on banana fruit and flowers.

Being a honeyeater it also feeds on the nectar of flowers as well as insects and can often be seen looking behind loose bark on a tree for spiders and beetles.

A very noisy and social bird that is often seen in small flocks in open forest as well as in parks and gardens.

It will sometimes use the abandoned nests of other birds but one of its favourite nesting spots is in the top of a palm tree where it will pull the palm fronds together to hide the nest.

Their breeding season is from June to January so if you see one regularly flying to a palm tree at this time of year it may be nesting.

They are known as cooperative breeders with immature birds from the previous year helping to feed the chicks in the nest.

One of the first birds to be heard calling early in the morning, often before the sun rises. Its call is a harsh 'woik'; 'weet weet' that is quite loud.

A very common bird around the suburbs as well as along the coast from Burnett Heads to Bargara.

If you want to attract this bird to your garden then plant some flowering natives such as Grevillea and Callistemon.

 

Allan Briggs is the secretary of BirdLife Capricornia. Email him at abriggs@irock.com.au



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