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A photo of a Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Caligavis chrysops)
Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Caligavis chrysops

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Caligavis chrysops, is a small to medium-sized bird, a member of the Meliphagidae family. It is named for the distinctive yellow stripes adorning the sides of its head, a feature that is also the source of its scientific nomenclature.

Identification Tips

This bird is characterized by a yellow stripe that commences above the gape and broadens as it curves below the eye, culminating in a small white patch on the ear coverts. A black eye stripe is interrupted by a yellow to off-white patch behind the eye, and a second black stripe runs parallel below. The plumage is generally greyish-brown, with the upper body darker and the underparts lighter and streaked with grey. The bill is black and slightly curved downwards, and the legs and feet are grey-brown. Adults have a dusky blue iris, while juveniles display a brown one.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater inhabits a variety of environments, from open sclerophyll forests and coastal dunes to subalpine regions. It is also found in woodlands along creeks and rivers, often preferring areas with a light, shrubby understorey.


This species is widespread across eastern and southeastern Australia, from Far North Queensland through to the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater can be observed as a solitary bird, in pairs, or small family groups, and during migration, it may travel in large flocks. It is known for its agility in flight and its adeptness at foraging among foliage and flowers for insects and nectar.

Song & Calls

Its vocalizations are varied and melodious, often heard before dawn. The song is a series of cheerful notes, and the bird is also known for its territorial and alarm calls, which are distinctive and serve as communication among individuals.


Breeding pairs are socially monogamous and construct delicate cup-shaped nests in which they lay two or three eggs. The breeding season sees several nesting attempts due to a relatively low success rate, with challenges such as predation and environmental factors affecting the broods.

Similar Species

There are no similar species mentioned in the provided content.

Diet and Feeding

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater has a mixed diet of insects, nectar, and pollen, with a particular adaptation for catching flies, spiders, and beetles. It also feeds on soft fruits and is known to glean insects from foliage or catch them mid-flight.

Conservation status

Despite its habitat being vulnerable to land-clearing and other anthropogenic effects, the Yellow-faced Honeyeater is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, due to its widespread distribution and stable population. However, it is considered a pest in some orchard areas.

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