Honeyeater Photo Galleries

Honeyeaters belong to the Meliphagidae family. The first three galleries display subfamilies Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds, Australian Chats and Allies (Gliciphilinae), Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds, Miners (Meliphaginae) and Friarbirds and Allies (Philemoninae). See Taxonomy note at the end of this page. The final galleries show images of honeyeater behaviour.

I photographed the featured species in forest, woodland, or garden habitat. And in both tropical and temperate regions of Australia and New Zealand. Although primarily Australasian some family members also inhabit Papua New Guinea, Wallacea and some pacific islands.

Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds and Miners

Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds, Miners Notes

All featured species are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’ and, are Australian endemics that I mostly photographed in Queensland. The Noisy Miner, Red Wattlebird and White-plumed Honeyeater species include photos of the nominate race and a subspecies.

Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds, Australian Chats and Allies

Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds, Australians Chat and Allies Notes

All the species shown in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. About half the displayed species are Australian endemics; all the New Zealand species are endemics, while the other species are endemic to Australia and Papua New Guinea or Wallacea. I photographed most species at the top end of Australia and in Queensland, possibly because I spent more time there than in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

Only a few of the featured species exhibit plumage or size dimorphism. Some honeyeaters can be challenging to photograph, although vocal and easily spotted; they are often high up in the forest canopy. The species are not the most colourful birds, and some would say they are drab and can be challenging to identify, as the image of an immature brown honeyeater.

Friarbirds and Allies

Friarbirds and Allies Notes

Displayed species in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. Over half the featured species inhabit Australia and Papua New Guinea or Wallacea. I photographed most species at the top end and in Queensland.

Some honeyeaters can be challenging to photograph, although vocal and easily spotted; they are often high up in the forest canopy.

Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds and Miners Behaviour

Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds and Miners Behaviour Notes

This gallery features images of honeyeaters that were foraging, feeding, hunting, flying, vocalising or tending a nest.

The Noisy Miner is a common bird; the gallery shows several images of a nest and an adult bird feeding its chicks. A Yellow-throated Miner perched at the entrance to a Striated Pardalote nest hole trying to get at its chicks.

Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds, Friarbirds and Allies Behaviour

Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds, Friarbirds and Allies Behaviour Notes

This gallery features images of honeyeaters that were foraging, feeding, hunting, flying, vocalising or displaying aggressive behaviour.

The Australian Garden in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Cranbourne attracts many species that feed on native plants, I photographed a male Scarlet Myzomela here. It’s a rare visitor being east of its normal range.

The Tui is a common aggressive New Zealand species with an unmistakable vocal call. I photographed two in aerial combat; I assume one was defending a feeding territory.

Honeyeater (Meliphagidae) Taxonomy

Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae) are basal oscines placed in parvorder Meliphagida part of suborder Passeri, J Boyd’s Taxonomy in Flux refers. The simplified family tree illustrates the taxonomy relevant to the Honeyeaters photo album.

There are three main Meliphagidae subfamilies:
(a) Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds (Gliciphilinae) comprises three tribes: Spinebills, NZ Bellbirds (Acanthorhynchini), Australian Chats & Allies (Epthianurini) and Gliciphilini,
(b) Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds, Miners (Meliphaginae) contains one tribe Meliphagini,
(c) Friarbirds & Allies (Philemoninae) has four tribes: Friarbirds and Allies (Philemonini), Myzomela and Allies (Myzomelini), Phylidonyrini, and Melithreptini.

Some authorities place Meliphagidae in superfamily Meliphagoidea under parvorder Corvida.

The figure shows a simplified taxonomy family tree relevant to Honeyeaters photo album