White-plumed Honeyeater

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White-plumed Honeyeater, Lichenostomus penicullatus, is a small bird, sized 15-17cm. It has a pale olive/grey body, paler underparts with breast washed yellow. Yellow head, with brown/black line above the well-defined white neck plume. Bill and eye black for adult, but yellow base to bill for immature. Noisy, gregarious and very aggressive, regularly attacks birds larger than itself. Call is a repeated whistling ‘chi-ick-oo-wee’.

Feeding Habits

Feeds on nectar and various insects in small loose flocks or singly. Honeyeaters are important pollinators and seed dispersers.


July-January or any month after rain in arid regions. Nest is a deep cup of grass, bark and cobwebs, lined with soft bark and plant down. Suspended from a small fork in the outer leafy branches, and often overhanging water. Regularly fosters the young of pallid cuckoos.

Places to Look

Widespread dry country bird, often close to water.

  • Woodlands
  • Farm dams
  • Mallee
  • Parks
  • Gardens
  • Inland river eucalypts.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

White-plumed Honeyeater © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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