Yellow-tufted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops

This page is a chapter in the book Honeyeaters.
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
Scientific Classification
Species:L. melanops
Binomial name
Lichenostomus melanops

The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops) is a striking, medium to medium-large honeyeater. It also has elongated yellow feathers on the sides of its head forming conspicuous tufts, which provide the bird with its name. Living in eucalypt forests, Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters usually forage in the canopy, plucking insects and other invertebrates from among the foliage, or taking the sugary manna that oozes from the branches.


It is 1723 cm long, with females usually smaller, and has a bright yellow forehead, crown and throat, a black mask and a yellow ear and forehead tuft. The back is olive-green and underparts more olive-yellow

[top]Behavioural characteristics

The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater feeds singly or in twos, or in groups of up to ten outside the breeding season, in the canopy of trees and shrubs. It feeds mainly on nectar from eucalypt flowers and insects from leaves and bark.

[top]Distribution and habitat

The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater is found in open dry forests and woodlands dominated by eucalypts, and often near water. They sometimes visit gardens.


The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater is gregarious, breeding in colonies or 'neighbourhoods' of adjacent territories. Pairs are monogamous, staying together on the same territory. Parents are occasionally assisted with feeding and nest cleaning by 'helpers'. The tightly woven, cup-shaped nests are hung in understorey shrubs. The females do most of the incubation, but both parents, plus any helpers, feed the young. Two or three broods may be raised in a season.


[top]Where to find

Endemic to eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia, the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater is found from the Tropic of Capricorn (Queensland) to south-western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia. The range of the endangered subspecies L. m. cassidix has contracted from a large portion of south-western Victoria to a small area near Yellingbo.

[top]Photographic Tips

As with most birds if you can find its watering hole they are birds of habit and will often drink in large groups. Place a branch nearby and they will often stop on the perch before flying to the ground to drink. A very noisy bird and you will often hear them before you see them. You can sit 3-5 metres away low in scrub and they will still come to drink.


West Nowra, NSWWest Nowra, NSW
West Nowra, NSWWest Nowra, NSW
West Nowra, NSWWest Nowra, NSW
Previous: Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) Honeyeaters Next: White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)



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