White-plumed Honeyeater

The White-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus) is probably the best known honeyeater in South Eastern Australia. It is a pale olive-grey bird with clear cut white plume, sometimes margined blackish above. The sexes are similar. Usually seen singly, in pairs or in small parties, and seldom far from water in open forest and woodlands. They frequent the foliage of River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), but also in mallees, creekside wattles and casuarinas, which seem to be their favourite nesting sites. White-plumed honeyeaters feed on nectar and insects and is nervously active -- never still! They can be very agressive.

Breeding is mainly in July to January, but inland areas, any month after rain. The nest is a neatly woven, deep cup slung from outer leafy branches, made of grass and spiders' web, lined with plant down. Two to three eggs are laid, and the incubation and fledgeing takes only 14 days. Both parents share the nest feeding and regularly foster Pallid and Fantail Cuckoos.

Flight is short, fast and undulating.

(Contributed by Jo G)