Painted Honeyeater

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Habitat: Woodland, Forest, Urban


The Painted Honeyeater is found in dry open forests and woodlands, and is strongly associated with mistletoe. It may also be found along rivers, on plains with scattered trees and on farmland with remnant vegetation. It has been seen in urban parks and gardens where large eucalypts are available.


Male Painted Honeyeaters give display flights during breeding season, flying steeply upwards from a high perch then descending quickly to another tree, singing the whole time. These flights help the males advertise their territory, attract a mate and repel other males.


The Painted Honeyeater feeds mainly on the fruit of mistletoe, Amyema species, but will also feed on nectar and invertebrates, usually in eucalypts. This species feeds singly, in pairs or in small groups of up to six birds.


The Painted Honeyeater breed in loose colonies, forming pair bonds for the duration of the breeding season. In some areas, the same nest or tree may be re-used over several years. Breeding males vigorously defend a breeding territory from other males and occasionally other species such as the Mistletoebird. Both sexes build the thin, cup-shaped nest from grass and fine roots bound with spiderweb. The eggs and young are tended by both sexes, and fledglings may be fed for some time before they disperse. Two broods may be raised in the same breeding season. Eggs are sometimes taken by Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters.