Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yellow Honeyeater digs in


Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus) about to enjoy a juicy catch after much effort dragged fat prey out from its tightly curled leaf home at Tyto today. Honeyeaters are partial to insect prey, Yellows particularly so. Bill length and shape helps tell the story.



So no trouble seeing that a Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta) spends more time chasing nectar with its more delicate bill and tongue. 



Brown-backed Honeyeater (Ramsayornis modestus) - in typical quizzical pose - will, with others of the species, take over flowering paperbarks and drive other honeyeaters away, but more usually enjoys a general diet.      



12 comments:

Mosura said...

I prefer honey rather than insects myself and having eaten a few witchetty grubs in my day I can say that with conviction.

Enjoyed the pics!

Tyto Tony said...

No insects, no honey. Kiwis like to boast of eating huhu (like witchetty.) As a vegetarian I'm above hairy chested survival stuff.

swampythings said...

We have noticed that large numbers of BB Honeyeaters have indeed taken over much of our paperbark swamp. Paperbarks are not flowering now but BBs are foraging for insects and also starting to nest.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Barbara: If Tyto pattern holds true, the BBs will dominate and next thing you know there'll be almost none to see for months.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
Lovely quality photos, esp of the Brown HE.
Tongue protruding and the feathers are visible in clear detail.
Well done.
I have two small Melaleucas Paperbarks) flowering (see my blog - 9.12.09). But they are only attracting Beetles.
Cheers
Denis

Tyto Tony said...

I'll check paperbarks for beetles, but can't recall seeing blossoms up here covered in them.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Great set of photos...I love pictures of birds eating! :)

Johnny Nutcase said...

Great set of photos...I love pictures of birds eating! :)

Gouldiae said...

G'day Tony,
Interesting set. I've always believed that 'honeyeaters' would need to get some protein from somewhere. An all nectar diet wouldn't be too good for cell building surely?
Gouldiae.

Russell Constable said...

Sharp photos Tony. Whenever I see your pics I feel guilty re my own amateur efforts!

Russell Constable said...

Sharp photos Tony. Whenever I see your pics I feel guilty re my own amateur efforts!

Tyto Tony said...

Hi JN: Thanks. I see you've got some great feeding pix on your site.

Hi Gouldiae: Seems to make sense. But then what about hummingbirds? Hard to see them taking in much protein as bycatch.

Hi Russell: Too kind. You don't see the 99.9% that bites the dust.