The Honeyeaters and the Australian Chats make up the family Meliphagidae. This family of birds that also include the friarbirds, wattlebirds, spinebills, miners, among others. Many honeyeaters are highly mobile, going where the seasonal flowering happens.
One of the special characteristics of the diverse group of Australian Honeyeaters is the ‘brush-tipped’ tongue, by which they take nectar from flowers. Many honeyeaters are very mobile as they seek out the seasonal nectar source, especially with the mass flowering eucalypts, with some being aggressive in their quest. Nomadic honeyeaters include the Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, with sedentary species including the Eastern Spinebill. There are also the territorial honeyeaters such as the Noisy Miner and the White-plumed Honeyeater.
Most honeyeaters also eat insects, which can also be their main diet. Many honeyeaters feed on berries, pollen and sugary secretions from plants and bugs such as psyllids.
The Honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium-sized birds, most common in Australia and New Guinea, as well as in New Zealand, the Pacific islands and as far east as Samoa and Tonga, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Passeriformes
- Superfamily: Meliphagoidea
- Family: Meliphagidae