White-naped Honeyeater

Harsh, churring 'shersh-shersh-shersh' and single note whistle, along with alarm and contact calls.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
Minimum Size: 
Maximum Size: 
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Breeding season: 
September to November, but can breed throughout year.
Clutch Size: 
Two to three.
14 days
Nestling Period: 
15 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
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What does it look like?

The White-naped Honeyeater is a small honeyeater with a short, slender bill. It is olive-green above, with a black cap, a white band across the back of the neck which does not reach the eye, and a bright orange crescent above the eye. The flanks and sides of the breast are washed grey brown and the underparts are white. Young birds lack the black cap and the white nape is duller or absent. It can be seen in large flocks when migrating, often with other honeyeaters, and in smaller groups when feeding.

Similar species: 

The White-naped Honeyeater is similar in size and shape to the White-throated Honeyeater, Melithreptus albogularis, which lacks the orange eye crescent and has more white on the throat that reaches the bottom of the bill. Other similar species include the Black-chinned Honeyeater Melithreptus gularis and the Brown-headed Honeyeater, Melithreptus brevirostris, which both also lack the orange around the eye, along with other differences.

Where does it live?

The White-naped Honeyeater is endemic to eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia, from northern Queensland to eastern South Australia, with a race in south-western Australia.


The White-naped Honeyeater is found in open forests and woodlands, mainly in the temperate zone, and rarely in drier areas. Found in urban gardens, commonly visiting nectar feeders in areas near forests.

Seasonal movements: 

Partially migratory in south-eastern parts of range.

What does it do?

The White-naped Honeyeater feeds on nectar and insects and their products (e.g. honeydew and lerp), and manna. They tend to forage in the tallest trees, and occasionally under bark, and are rarely seen on ground.


During breeding season, White-naped Honeyeaters breed communally, with both the parents and helpers looking after the young, although only the female incubates the eggs. The female builds a small open cup nest out of grass, bark and spider web, high up in a tree or sapling. At least two broods are raised in a season. The nests can be parasitised by the Fan-tailed and Pallid Cuckoos.

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