Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yellow-faced Honeyeater eating Grevillea nectar

Thinking I was hearing House Sparrows out in my front garden I was quite surprised to see what I first thought was a House Sparrow eating nectar from the Grevilleas in my garden. House Sparrows don't eat nectar as far as I know. I've never seen them eat it anyway. I was a little bit suspicious of this bird being a House Sparrow so I got my digital camera out and put it in video mode, and found it was not a House Sparrow but rather a Yellow-faced Honeyeater. I couldn't ID the bird at first glance. I had to watch the video and pause it, then compare it to the Yellow-faced Honeyeater photo I took, that I've added to this site.

The bird was first located in the bush where I first zoomed the camera into, then it flew down into the Grevilleas closest to me. It look me almost 2 minutes into this video to locate the bird in my Grevilleas as the native Plum tree's leaves were mostly in the way. I could not also get the right angle to view the bird properly, and my reaction was slower than normal as I have pulled my right arm muscles and it hurts to move the camera and my arm.

This honeyeater species is the size of a House Sparrow. It is somewhat a noisy bird, just like a House Sparrow is, and it loves nectar. This is the very first video I have of this bird species in Tenterfield, and going on the rustling sounds and calls it was making I believe there were two of these birds but the other one always kept out of sight.

There are very few Grevillea plants in Tenterfield that I have seen, which makes it difficult for honeyeaters to locate nectar from these type of plants. It therefore must eat nectar from various other plant and tree sources in the local area. This particular bird's residence, I believe, is in the Tenterfield Creek well away from the roads, near my home.

Yellow-faced Honeyeaters are much easier to video record and photograph than an Eastern Spinebill. It moves slower and ocassionally takes a rest as viewed in this video. However, it is a somewhat shy bird, and it prefers thick plant cover to hide in - or at least to roost in. This species may allow you to approach it from a distance if you do so slowly but that is just a guess right now.

Below is the video I took around 12PM today - give or take a few minutes.

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