There are lots of Blue-faced Honeyeaters around here but I normally capture them while head down drinking nectar from native flowers and it was nice to see one from the front with the brown breast patch. This adult (young have green eye skin) was sitting in a She-oak that grows opposite my bedroom/study window and I was able to capture him while it was having a look about safely hidden in a cave of She-oak needles. The She-oaks are one of my favourite trees, not only are they soft and beautiful to look at each needle producers oxygen and they are one of the highest CO2 to oxygen trees on the planet.
This juvenile Blue-faced Honeyeater, identified by the yellowish-green area of skin around it’s eye, is watching and learning the aggressive tactics of its parents as they attack the nest of the Wattlebirds in the tree below.
Captured at Emerald Beach on the NSW north coast.
From their perch at the top of this palm tree these Blue-faced Honeyeaters are checking out a tree in in my garden where Wattlebirds were building a nest. I’m not sure what they were after because Blue-faced Honeyeater’s eat insects, spiders and nectar not bird eggs or chicks, and to my knowledge they don’t commandeer the nests of other birds for themselves. They were however very aggressive and persistently ferocious towards the Wattlebirds, dive bombing the tree and getting right in amoung the branches around the nest that the Wattlebirds were trying to protect. Even after I intervened and shooed the half dozen blue-faces off with much yelling and shaking of branches, they returned soon after for a repeat performance. While a Wattlebird disappeared into the tree with twigs in its mouth after the first attack, after the second they seem to have abandoned it and are now hopefully at work again in a safer location.
The Blue-faced Honeyeater is a large noise honeyeater and one of my favourites, its a sociable and bold bird and striking in looks. They are around 25-30 cm and make a loud metallic sound described in my bird book as ‘keet’ or ‘kwok’. They build nests similar to the Noisy Miner’s (see previous post), but put them in dense clumps of leaves and palm fronds .. which explains why I always see them in the palms at my daughters place. They are also recyclers and will use the nests of friarbirds, miners, Grey-crowned Babbler’s and Apostlebird nests.
Captured at Mullaway, NSW north coast.