Honeyeaters >

The White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), previously known under Lichenostomus penicillatus, is a small sized passerine bird endemic to Australia. These honeyeaters are named after the distinctive patch of white feathers on its neck. The adult birds are olive-gray in appearance with a yellow face. The juveniles and non-breeding adults have a yellow base bill, whilst the breeding adults have a black bill.

White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata)
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta, SA

The females build a small, cup-shaped nest using mainly grass and spider webs.

The White-plumed Honeyeater are gregarious birds that are often seen in company with their own kind. They feeds actively from leaves and flowers, the main foods being nectar. They also eat insects (including feeding on lerps and honeydew), fruit and select seeds.

They can be quite a common bird, widespread across mainland Australia except in the far north and southwest. They can be seen especially around water sources, backyards (great if you have bird baths), gardens and parks. They can be found in open woodlands, preferring areas with vegetation cover.

The White-plumed Honeyeater can be quite territorial, and can often be seen chasing off larger birds.

Images © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Meliphagidae
  • Genus: Ptilotula
  • Species: P. penicillata
  • Binomial name: Ptilotula penicillata