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Blue-faced honeyeater

Common name: Blue-faced Honeyeater
Scientific name: Entomyzon cyanotis

Blue-faced honeyeaters form close family groups with fledglings from previous broods helping to rear new chicks. Adults are recognisable thanks to their bright blue cheeks whereas young birds have paler green facial markings.

Designated a species of Least Concern, these birds cover a wide range throughout Australia and populations are thought to be stable at present. In the wild, blue-faced honeyeaters can be found in forests and scrubland where they enjoy a variety of nectar-rich plants.

Honeyeaters have specially adapted tongues with a brush like tip that helps them to eat nectar, a trait that has earned them the affectionate nickname “banana bird” due to their fondness for banana fruit and flowers.

Fast Facts

  • Status

    Least Concern

  • Height

    26-32cm

  • Weight

    80-130g

  • Incubation

    16-17 days

  • Clutch size

    2, rarely 3, eggs

A nest-cam points down at blue-faced honeyeater chicks in their nest box just after hatching. An adult hovers over the nest looking at the camera.
Blue-faced honeyeater at Marwell Zoo

In the wild

Blue-faced honeyeaters mainly eat insects, nectar, and fruit. They feed in groups and form breeding pairs with young from previous clutches sometimes helping to feed new chicks. Groups of blue-faced honeyeaters forage for food together. Their diet includes cockroaches, beetles and grasshoppers found amongst the branches and foliage of the forest.

Blue-faced honeyeaters are native to Australia, living mainly in the north and East of the country, where they live in forests, open woodland, and wet areas. They are often found near banana plantations, orchards and farmlands earning them the affectionate nickname “banana bird”.

These birds form breeding pairs and young remain with their parents for some time after fledging. Young from previous clutches may help to feed and rear new chicks.

In the wild, the breeding season for blue-faced honeyeaters runs from June to February and a clutch of eggs contains two or, more rarely, three eggs. Incubation is approximately 16-17 days. When the eggs hatch, chicks will be fed by both parents. Older siblings may help feed the hatchlings, who are likely to stay in the nest for around 23 days before fledging.

Populations are currently thought to be stable and the species was last assessed in 2016.

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