Belfords melidectes

Melidectes belfordi

TAXONOMY

Melirrhophetes belfordi De Vis, 1890, Mount Knutsford, New Guinea. Seven subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Belford's honeyeater; French: Meliphage de Belford; German: Belfordhonigfresser; Spanish: Pajaro Miel de Belford.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

10.7 in (27 cm); female 2.1 oz (60 g), male 2.6 oz (74 g). Light blue bare face skin and whitish wattles. Crown, lores, cheeks, and throat black, with white brow stripe and broad white streaks at side of throat. Gray underparts with brownish belly and undertail.

DISTRIBUTION

Central ranges of New Guinea from 5,250 to 12,500 ft (1,600 to 3,800 m). They also hybridize with yellow-browed melidectes (M. rufocrissalis) in the eastern part of range.

HABITAT

Mountain rainforests, extending into pockets of shrubbery in subalpine grasslands.

Yellow Browed MelidectesYellow Browed Melidectes

BEHAVIOR

Boisterous and aggressive toward other species at flowering trees. Sail across openings with wings held widely spread, with infrequent flaps. Noisy, loud, and repeated calls, with gurgling, coughing, cackling, cawing, and piping notes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feed in canopy on nectar, arthropods, and some fruit. Glean from vines and foliage and probe into moss and epiphytes.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeding season April to July or later. The deep cup-shaped nest is made of moss, twigs, and hairs from the fronds of tree ferns. Egg apparently undescribed.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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