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BIRDS - LEWINS HONEYEATER

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(Meliphaga lewinii)

Lewin’s hold the same territory year round and advertise it through a distinctive loud rolling staccato “machine-gun” like chattering which they call during the day. Their song is a single harsh “tchuu”. To identify the Lewin’s from other similar honeyeaters you need to check that the head crown’s colour is grey, the beaks size and shape is quite large, the eye colour is dusty blue grey and the yellow ear patch’s half moon shape is a lighter colour. Also compared to the three similar species it is often the largest species at 190-210mm and the darkest. The colour of the juvenile bird is the same as adults but fluffier with dorsal streaking, ventral mottling obscure and brown eye’s.

Habitat

The Lewin’s Honeyeater is commonly found from the Mcilwraith Range near Townsville in north Queensland down the coast and as far south to almost Melbourne Victoria. It is the most widespread and abundant honeyeater in Australia’s eastern coast rainforests.

Diet

They forage in the montane rainforest in the mid to upper strata of rainforests keeping above 200m in the north and elsewhere up to 1000m in wet eucalypt forest, woodlands and heaths. Lewin’s diet consists of insects, fruit from flowering trees, nectar, pawpaw, oranges and mandarins. They are generally a sedentary bird, which tend to forage singly or in pairs, only gathering in larger groups to rifle blossoms or pick fruit in flowering trees. Often they hover or spiral up trees to pick out insects from the crevices in the bark and visit orchards to feed on pawpaw and oranges.

Breeding

Breeding season is in Jul-Mar and mostly Aug-Jan with a nest hanging usually over water or in a gully from twigs in dense foliage 2-5m above the ground. It is a rough, cup shape of loosely woven bark stripes, leaves, moss, bound together with cobwebs and lined with soft down.

Display Status

On DisplayOur Amazing Lewins-honeyeater(s) are currently on display

Threat Level

Least Concern

Least Concern