The Golden Whistler and White-eared Honeyeater
The White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis) and Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) are both found in the Reserve – see the Birdlist – and are described as moderately common here. They both provided bright, yellow punctuation to the green theme of autumn foliage.
These two birds, while being in two different areas of the Reserve, were both unconcerned by our presence.
The White-eared Honeyeater was in company with some other little brown birds, a habit noted by Tzaros (2005) in ‘Wildlife of the Box-Ironbark Country’ to occur in autumn and winter. This bird was feeding from the foliage of a cassinia – they are described as insectivorous – taking a break to preen and whistle. These birds are also described as inquisitive. There is this delightful description of White-eared Honeyeaters using the hair and clothes of humans for nesting material in a 1929 edition of the naturalist publication ‘Emu’.
The male Golden Whister was collecting the insects found in this wild-grown apple tree. It is also described as inquisitive and tame by Tzaros (2005). Here we see these birds through most of the year, with breeding time between September and January. The female of the species is just as cute, albeit with more subtle colouring – see the Morwell National Park for local examples.
References and further resources
Birds in Backyards (n.d.) Golden Whistler Basic Information http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Pachycephala-pectoralis
Birds in Backyards (n.d.) White-eared Honeyeater Basic Information http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Lichenostomus-leucotis
Tzaros, C. L. (2005) Wildlife of the Box-Ironbark Country. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing