Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Did you know?

When migrating, the Yellow-faced Honeyeater can be seen in large flocks, with several thousand birds passing every hour in some places.

Loud, cheerful calls: series of 'chick-up' notes.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Breeding season: 
July to March
Clutch Size: 
Two to three, rarely one.
14 days
Nestling Period: 
14 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is a medium to small, plainly coloured honeyeater with a slightly down-curved bill. It is dark grey-brown above, with some brown streaking on the head, and paler below with lighter streaks. It has a distinctive, broad yellow face-stripe, bordered with black. The males are slightly larger but the sexes are otherwise similar. Young are paler and unstreaked on the head. It can be seen in large flocks when migrating, and in smaller groups when feeding.

Similar species: 

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater may be confused with several honeyeaters with similar yellow and black face markings, including the Singing, Varied, Mangrove, Bridled and Eungella Honeyeaters; however, it is much smaller than all of these and the eye stripe appears to run through the eye, rather than below it.

Where does it live?

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is widespread in eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia, from northern Queensland to eastern South Australia.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is found in open forests and woodlands, often near water and wetlands. It uses ridges, sand dunes, valleys and rivers when migrating. It is often found in urban areas, including in remnant bushland, as well as parks and gardens. It will use areas infested with weeds such as Scotch Broom and Blackberry.

Seasonal movements: 

Partially migratory, with regular movements to and from south-eastern Australia; moving north in autumn and south in spring.

What does it do?

Yellow-faced Honeyeaters feed on nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds, insects and their products. They tend to forage in the flowers and foliage of trees and shrubs, as well as mistletoe, and are rarely seen on the ground.


Breeding pairs of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters defend territories during the season. The female builds a neat, woven, sometimes fragile, cup from green materials such as moss, in the understorey of forests or in hedges, vines and other garden shrubs. She incubates the eggs alone, but both parents feed the young. The nests can be parasitised by the Shining and Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoos, as well as the Fan-tailed, Brush and, particularly, Pallid Cuckoos. 

Living with us

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater can be injured by cats. It has also been known to damage fruit in gardens and orchards.

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