Ian’s Bird of the Week – Barred Honeyeater

Mont Koghi, New Caledonia by Ian

I’m currently working my way through the Honeyeater galleries on the website and on Saturday I’m giving a talk on the birds of New Caledonia to BirdLife Townsville, so here is New Caledonian endemic the Barred Honeyeater. it is confined the main island of Grande Terre, where it is reasonably common in woodland areas, particular in hilly country, e.g. Mont Koghi just outside Noumea.

It seemed to like perching high up in trees, like this one at Riviere Bleue, and at the time we had bigger distractions at hand (such as the Kagu) so we left it to its own devices.

Barred Honeyeater (Glycifohia undulata) by Ian

On our second visit to Mont Koghi (in search of the Horned Parakeet) we came across this one perched more obligingly at eye level in some flowering ginger. While we were photographing it, a member of the staff at the nearby inn, came galloping along to tell us that a Horned Parakeet had arrived, and the poor honeyeater was abandoned unceremoniously.

Barred Honeyeater (Glycifohia undulata) by Ian

From its shape and general appearance it’s clearly a Honeyeater, but the wavy barred plumage is unlike any Australian Honeyeater and gives it its specific name undulata. Not surprisingly, it has no close relatives in Australia, though it was plonked in the same genus as the New Holland and White-cheeked Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris) until someone decided to look at its genes a bit more closely and removed it and its only close relative the Vanuatu Honeyeater (G. notabilis) to their own genus.

Barred Honeyeater (Glycifohia undulata) by Ian

New Caledonia has some strikingly unusual birds – which is why we were there in the first place – but this familiar but different theme was much more often the case with a broad spectrum from very similar (same species but usually a different race) through somewhat different (common genus, different species) and very different (separate genera) to the Kagu which is in a family of its own and an in order with no other Australasian representatives. I found this very interesting and this is why the theme of my talk at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon is “New Caledonian Birds: from strangely familiar to very strange”. You can find out about the activities of Birdlife Townsville here http://www.birdlifetownsville.org.au/2016_Calendar.html and details of the location here http://www.birdlifetownsville.org.au/Activities.html.

Work on converting the website to make it ‘mobile friendly’ continues and I’m in the middle of the Honeyeaters With photos of 76 species – and therefore 76 galleries – this is easily the largest family in the website – the ducks and their relatives come second with 64 species. So, I regard it as something of a watershed and look forward to having the Honeyeaters behind me and tell myself that it will all be downhill from then on!

If you’re a local or in the Townsville area, I hope to see you on Saturday.
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16 NKJV)

Beautiful rainbow photo and the of course the Barred Honeyeater is pretty. I noticed that in each photo the bird has his eye on Ian. Thanks, Ian, for sharing another of your adventures into the world of avian wonders.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week articles

Ian’s Birdway

Honeyeaters – Meliphagidae

Wordless Birds

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Sunday Inspiration – Honeyeaters

Bridled Honeyeater (Lichenostomus frenatus) by Ian

Bridled Honeyeater (Lichenostomus frenatus) by Ian

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalms 119:103 KJV)

The Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters are another of our beautifully created birds in the Passerine Order to highlight. Thought about changing the sequence because of Palm Sunday, but did Palm Birds previously with Lisa Brock singing from an Easter Musical. The Words of Christ that tell of this week, and they are sweeter than honey to those of us who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.

The Lord did not have to stay on the cross, but because of His Love for us, he stayed there and paid the penalty for our sins. He offers us the gift of Salvation, but we have to admit and acknowledge our sinful condition, and accept that gift. Honey is a gift from the Lord for the Honeyeaters, and they could stand and look at it all day, but they need to partake of it to do them any good. Taste comes when they accept it.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:14-19 KJV)

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“Blood of Jesus Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Church Choir

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Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters
Sunday Inspiration
Beautiful Australian Birds 4 – Honeyeaters
Gospel Message

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New I.O.C. 3.4 Version Complete

Greater Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa) ©WikiC

Sooty Own now the Greater Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa) ©WikiC

The I.O.C released their 3.4 Version of the lists of the Birds of the World and I have been busy behind the scenes again bring Lee’s Birds of the World up to date. Other than needing to change the names of a few photos and finding photos for the new birds now listed with the I.O.C., the pages are finished.

There are now 10,488 extant species and 149 extinct species of birds of the world (Version 3.4), with subspecies (20,984). These birds are Classified into 40 Orders, 231 Families (plus 6 “Incertae sedis” groups – Holding places for birds they are not sure which family to place them in).

Some of the new birds listed are: Pincoya Storm Petrel, Rinjani Scops Owl, Antioquia Wren and they deleted the Green-crowned Woodnymph and the Plain-breasted Earthcreeper. It appears the deletions happen when the birds are placed into a subspecies category.

Violet-crowned Woodnymph now the Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) by RScanlon

Violet-crowned Woodnymph now the Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) by RScanlon

There were some name changes like
Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa) – now – Greater Sooty Owl
Violet-crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) – now – Crowned Woodnymph
Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill (Ceratogymna atrata) – now – Black-casqued Hornbill
Yellow-casqued Wattled Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) – now – Yellow-casqued Hornbill
Western Slaty Antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – now – Black-crowned Antshrike
Variable Pitohui (Pitohui kirhocephalus) – now – Northern Variable Pitohui
Dark-capped Yellow Warbler (Iduna natalensis) – now – African Yellow Warbler
Red-tailed Rufous Thrush (Neocossyphus rufus) – now – Red-tailed Ant Thrush
White-tailed Rufous Thrush (Neocossyphus poensis) – now – White-tailed Ant Thrush
Sage Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) – now – Bell’s Sparrow

Do Species Change?

Yellow-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) ©Wiki

Yellow-casqued Wattled now the Yellow-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) ©Wiki

The birds are still doing their thing by multiplying and filling the earth as they were commanded to do by God. Most seem to adapt to some area and if not, they move on. Other, who can’t adapt, or have disasters or events occur that may make them go extinct. With over 10,400 plus birds to find on your birdwatching adventures, surely one is out there waiting for you to find it and enjoy the uniqueness of it. Enjoy your next adventure out and about searching for the Lord’s fantastic birds.

Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
(Genesis 8:17 NKJV)

The biggest challenge was the Taxonomic Update. The Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters  Family was shuffled all around. Not only were they changed around, but they also changed the genus names for some birds, especially those in the Lichenostomus genus. As the ornithologist do more and more DNA testing, they are finding that some are not related or come from a different line with in the family. Keeps me busy.

See:

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Wordless Birds

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Striped Honeyeater

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) by Ian

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Striped Honeyeater – by Ian Montgomery

I’ve been slow to produce this week’s bird as I’ve been burning the midnight oil rewriting the home page of the website – more about that later.

Last week we had the Southern Bookbook from a rewarding evening of spotlighting at Trafalgar Station south of Charters Towers. Daytime birding there produced some interesting birds, notably a Pictorella Mannikin among some Plum-headed Finches and pair of Striped Honeyeaters. this is an uncommon Honeyeater with some unusual features and, being in its genus, is not closely related to other Honeyeaters.

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) by Ian

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) by Ian

One such feature is a very un-honeyeater-like call that first attracted our attention. The field guides agree that it is mellow, rollicking or rolling, and rising and falling. To me it sounded like a loud gerygone, the rusty bicycle wheel of a Mangrove or Large-billed maybe, but I’m a bit deaf and you mightn’t agree. In appearance it is rather dapper, and seems formally dressed for the drier, fairly casual areas of eastern Australia in which it occurs, from the Spencer Gulf in South Australia to Cooktown in NE Queensland.

It shows its affinity with honeyeaters by having a brush tongue for nectar, but the narrow, pointed bill, shown in the second photo is in fact adapted to supplementing a sugary diet by probing for insects and orther invertebrates as illustrated by the bird in the third photo, which has just found a spider in some mistletoe. The trees are mulga, a dry country acacia, and typical habitat for Striped Honeyeaters, I included the second photo, as it isn’t often one gets to photograph birds from above, a bird’s eye view so to speak, unless they are acrobatic like these in search of food.

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) by Ian

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) by Ian

I’ve redone the home page to make it easier to find photos of the more than 1,200 species in the 142 families now represented. The main change is the inclusion of a set of 142 family thumbnails – called Instant Links to Bird Families – in taxonomic sequence to take you directly to the species thumbnails for each family. The family thumbnails have been selected to show a typical member of the family, and each one has a list of the included species which will appear if you hold the cursor over the thumbnail. If you know or can guess in which family to look, you can find out, without leaving the home page, whether a particular species is present in the website.

Having clicked on a family thumbnail, the species thumbnails then allow you to go directly to view the first photo of a particular species and the thumbnails of other photos of that species. You can therefore find and view any of the now more than 5,000 photos in just three clicks. All the 5,000 photos have both family thumbnail button(s) for global and regional thumbnails and home page buttons, so you can then move back up to the family level or return directly to the home page to repeat the process for an unrelated species.

To make room for the new Instant Links, I’ve moved the ‘Recent Additions’ to a horizontal, scrollable row of (currently more than 70) thumbnails. The most recent additions are visible on the left, older ones are revealed by scrolling to the right. Future thumbnails will include a message – viewable in the same way as the family thumbnail list by holding the cursor over the thumbnail – about the date of the addition and the number of new photos; current ones just have a message to the effect ‘Click here to go to the gallery of  . . ‘.
Links:
Instant Links to Bird Families http://www.birdway.com.au/#families
Recent Additions http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates
Southern Boobook http://www.birdway.com.au/strigidae/southern_boobook/index.htm
Pictorella Mannikin http://www.birdway.com.au/estrildidae/pictorella_mannikin/index.htm
Plum-headed Finch http://www.birdway.com.au/estrildidae/plum_headed_finch/index.htm
Best wishes,
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

Striped Honeyeaters are in the Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters Family of the Passeriformes Order. There are 142 members in that family.
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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Bar-breasted Honeyeater

Bar-breasted Honeyeater (Ramsayornis fasciatus) ©Ian

Bar-breasted Honeyeater (Ramsayornis fasciatus) ©Ian

Newsletter 1/3/2010

This week we have an unusual-looking honeyeater from northern Australia, the Bar-breasted Honeyeater. It is the only Australian Honeyeater with strong barring – the only other barred one is it’s close relative the faintly-barred Brown-backed Honeyeater of northeastern Queensland and PNG.

Its range extends through coastal areas from the Kimberley in Western Australia to Rockhampton in Queensland. Though scarce in eastern Queensland, it is quite common in suitable habitats in the rest of northern Australia but, being an unobtrusive feeder on the blossoms of trees, it is easy to overlook. Like the Brown-backed, it prefers woodlands near water, typically paperbarks or eucalyptus and both species build quite bulky suspended nests of paperbark strips, usually over water. See the second photo of the Brown-backed Honeyeater here for an example: http://birdway.com.au/meliphagidae/brown_backed_honeyeater/index.htm.

Bar-breasted Honeyeater (Ramsayornis fasciatus) by Ian

Bar-breasted Honeyeater (Ramsayornis fasciatus) by Ian

Birds that feed on flowering trees are usually difficult to photograph as they often remain obscured by the foliage. I photographed the one in the first photo on Cape York by sitting in comfort on a folding chair in the shade of a flowering tree – it was a very hot day – and focussing the camera on a suitably exposed blossom until a honeyeater came along. In the second photo, in northeastern Western Australia, I climbed up a tree and sat on a large limb against the trunk and waited for the birds to come and feed near me.

Well another year is on us, so Happy New Year, specifically Happy twenty-ten! (Being pedantic, I’ve joined the campaign to boycott ‘two thousand and . . .’).
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory. (Proverbs 25:27 KJV)

Thanks again, Ian. I also like calling it twenty ten, but I also like “Oh, ten.” Anyway, on with the bird of the week.

Ian also did a bird of the week on the Rufous-banded Honeyeater.  Also see Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters for more information about the Honeyeaters. For a list of all the Honeyeaters – Click Here.

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Rufous-banded Honeyeater

Rufous-banded Honeyeater (Conopophila albogularis) by Ian

Rufous-banded Honeyeater (Conopophila albogularis) by Ian

Here’s a small tropical Honeyeater that we encountered frequently in the Top End of the Northern Territory in September: the Rufous-banded. It’s appeal is subtle rather than spectacular, but I think it looks rather smart with its grey head, white-throat, rufous breast band and brown and yellow wings and tail.

Rufous-banded Honeyeater (Conopophila albogularis) by Ian

Rufous-banded Honeyeater (Conopophila albogularis) by Ian

It has a restricted range, being confined to the Top End of the Northern Territory and the northern half of Cape York in Queensland. It is rather similar to its close relative the Rufous-throated Honeyeater, which, in addition to the different throat colour of adult, lacks the rufous band and has a brownish head. The difference in head colour is diagnostic, as juveniles of the Rufous-banded and Rufous-throated lack the rufous band and throat respectively. Rufous would seem to be important in signalling sexual maturity, though the sexes are identical. The ranges of the two species overlap, with the Rufous-throated extending farther south in the tropics to include the Kimberley in Western Australia, the centre of the Northern Territory and Northern Queensland as far south as Townsville.

I’m in Mission Beach for the annual Pied Imperial Pigeon count http://www.birdsaustralianq.org/projects.htm and the BANQ Christmas get-together en route to Cape York to help in a survey in Mungkan Kandju national park between Coen and Arthur River. The survey will take several days and I plan to stay on for a few extra days to chase a few Cape York specialties.

Best wishes,
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115 Mobile +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24 KJV)

The Rufous-banded Honeyeater is in the Passeriformes order and the Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters Family. Ian has great photos for 59 members of the Meliphagidae family.

“The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea, but also found in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Hawaii, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species.

Honeyeaters and the closely related Australian chats make up the family Meliphagidae. In total there are 182 species in 42 genera, roughly half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. Like their closest relatives, the Maluridae (Australian wrens), Pardalotidae (pardalotes and thornbills), and Petroicidae (Australian robins), they originated as part of the great corvid radiation in Australia-New Guinea (which were joined in a single landmass until quite recent geological times).” From “Honeyeaters” by AvianWeb

Interesting Links about this Family:
HONEYEATERS Meliphagidae by Bird Families of the World
Honeyeaters by AvianWeb.com

Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters

White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis) by Ian at Birdway

White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis) by Ian at Birdway

Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters Family Information

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24 KJV)

The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea, but also found in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Hawaii, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species.

Honeyeaters and the closely related Australian chats make up the family Meliphagidae. In total there are 182 species in 42 genera, roughly half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. Like their closest relatives, the Maluridae (Australian wrens), Pardalotidae (pardalotes and thornbills), and Petroicidae (Australian robins), they originated as part of the great corvid radiation in Australia-New Guinea (which were joined in a single landmass until quite recent geological times).

Although honeyeaters look and behave very much like other nectar-feeding passerines around the world (such as the sunbirds and flowerpeckers), they are unrelated, and the similarities are the consequence of variation.

Unlike the hummingbirds of America, honeyeaters do not have extensive adaptations for hovering flight, though smaller members of the family do hover hummingbird-style to collect nectar from time to time. In general, honeyeaters prefer to flit quickly from perch to perch in the outer foliage, stretching up or sideways or hanging upside down at need. All genera have a highly developed brush-tipped tongue, longer in some species than others, frayed and fringed with bristles which soak up liquids readily. The tongue is flicked rapidly and repeatedly into a flower, the upper mandible then compressing any liquid out when the bill is closed.

Bridled Honeyeater (Lichenostomus frenatus) by Ian at Birdway

Bridled Honeyeater (Lichenostomus frenatus) by Ian at Birdway

The extent of the partnership between honeyeaters and Australasian flowering plants is unknown, but probably substantial. A great many Australian plants are fertilised by honeyeaters, particularly the Proteacae, Myrtaceae, and Epacridacae. It is known that the honeyeaters are important in New Zealand as well, and assumed that the same applies in other areas.

In addition to nectar, all or nearly all honeyeaters take insects and other small creatures, usually by hawking, sometimes by gleaning. A few of the larger species, notably the White-eared Honeyeater, and the Strong-billed Honeyeater of Tasmania, probe under bark for insects and other morsels. Many species supplement their diets with a little fruit, and a small number eat considerable amounts of fruit, particularly in tropical rainforests and, oddly, in semi-arid scrubland. The Painted Honeyeater is a mistletoe specialist. Most, however, exist on a diet of nectar supplemented by varing quantities of insects. In general, the honeyeaters with long, fine bills are more nectarivous, the shorter-billed species less so, but even specialised nectar eaters like the spinebills take extra insects to add protein to their diet when they are breeding.

Lewin's Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii) by W Kwong

Lewin’s Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii) by W Kwong

The movements of honeyeaters are poorly understood. Most are at least partially mobile but many movements seem to be local, possibly between favorite haunts as the conditions change. Fluctuations in local abundance are common, but the small number of definitely migratory honeyeater species aside, the reasons are yet to be discovered. Many follow the flowering of favorable food plants. Arid zone species appear to travel further and less predictably than those of the more fertile areas. It seems probable that no single explanation will emerge: the general rule for honeyeater movements is that there is no general rule.

The genus Apalopteron (Bonin Honeyeater), formerly treated in the Meliphagidae, has recently been transferred to the Zosteropidae on genetic evidence.

A new taxon of honeyeater, not yet described but apparently close to the Smoky Honeyeater, has been discovered in December 2005 in the Foja Mountains of Papua, Indonesia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia with editing


See also:

Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters page

HONEYEATERS Meliphagidae by Bird Families of the World

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