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Yellow-tufted Honeyeater - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Neil
Capertee Valley, New South Wales, Australia, September 2003
Lichenostomus melanops

Includes: Helmeted Honeyeater


Helmeted Honeyeater
Photo © by keith h
Tonimbuk, Victoria, September 2009

16·5–21 cm (6½-8¼ in)

  • Olive-brown upperparts
  • Yellowish-grey underparts
  • Black face mask
  • Bright yellow ear tufts and sides of the throat
  • Down-curved bill

Sexes similar
Young birds are duller and paler, with yellow areas washed green


Eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia.



Photo © by Greg McKay
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, January 2015

There are 3 subspecies[1]

  • L. m. meltoni:
  • L. m. melanops:
  • Eastern New South Wales (about Lismore to Jervis Bay)
  • L. m. cassidix: Helmeted Honeyeater is much larger, with brighter plumage
  • South-central Victoria (Yellingbo district of West Gippsland)


Open dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands dominated by eucalypts; often near water. They sometimes visit gardens. L. m. cassidix is found in narrow patches of tall forest along streams or in swamps.



The main diet consists of arthropods (mostly insects with some spiders); occasionally snails. They also eat nectar from eucalypt flowers.


They breed in colonies. Pairs are monogamous and the pair are sometimes assisted with feeding and nest cleaning by 'helpers'. They construct a tightly woven, cup-shaped nest. The females do most of the incubation, with both parents, and any helpers, feed the young. Two or three broods may be raised in a season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2018)
  3. Birds in Backyards

Recommended Citation

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