Rufousbanded honeyeater

Conopophila albogularis

TAXONOMY

Entomophila albogularis Gould, 1843, Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Rufous-breasted honeyeater; French: Méliphage a gorge blanc; German: Rostband-Honigfresser; Spanish: Pájaro Azúcar de Bandas.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.1 in (13 cm); 0.4 oz (12 g). Black head, wings, and upperparts with some yellow on wings. Underparts white, with wide rufous band at breast.

DISTRIBUTION

North of Northern Territory and Queensland. Patchily distributed in lowland New Guinea and on Aru Islands.

HABITAT

Riparian forests of paperbark (Melaleuca), eucalyptus woodlands, mangroves, vine thickets, town parks, and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

Poorly known. Territorial in breeding season, unobtrusive at other times. Resident, but some evidence of local nomadism. Emit an attractive, melodious, but squeaky song. Other calls include zzheep, twittering, and chipping.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Highly insectivorous, foraging from outer foliage, especially of wattles. Also take nectar from eucalyptus and paperbark flowers and eat the arils that attach wattle seeds to the pod.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

May breed at any time but main peaks are in late dry (September-November) and late wet (January to March) seasons. The purse-shaped nest is suspended from outer twigs of wattle or paperbark, often over water. Usually two to three eggs (occasionally one or four) that are incubated for about 14 days. Both adults feed young that fledge at 14 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Very common in suburban Darwin.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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