New Holland Honeyeater
One of the many birds that make good use of the trees of the Parklands is the New Holland Honeyeater. It is a medium-sized Honeyeater with a boldly streaked black and white body. The back is dark and there are bold yellow wing panels, as well as yellow in the base of the outer tail feathers and a white tip in the outer tail.
On the black head there are white eyebrows, white whisker tufts and white ear tufts. The head pattern is significant for identifying the bird with the white eye the most important field mark to look for.
They use their longish black bill to probe deep into flowers where their brush-tipped tongue can extract nectar from the blooms. To supplement their diet they also eat fruit and insects, which they often take in flight.
They are a bold species and will protect nectar trees with a noisy display of strength in numbers. This is usually accompanied by shrill harsh chattering, while their usual call is an abrupt metallic "tjik". New Holland Honeyeaters are found in coastal heath, woodlands with scrubby undergrowth, mallee, parks and gardens.
Breeding season is mostly between July and December and again between March and May but breeding can occur in any month nectar plants are flowering. In good seasons they may raise several broods. The substantial nest made of grass and bark is built in dense foliage in a shrub or bushy tree, and is lined with plant down or other soft materials. The female lays two to three eggs that are incubated for about 15 days.
The best place to look for these Honeyeaters in the Parklands is in the Column Garden or the Rose Garden.