Re: birding-aus RFI White-gaped Honeyeater

To: David James <>,
Subject: Re: birding-aus RFI White-gaped Honeyeater
From: Alexandra Appleman <>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 09:33:52 +1000

At 17:44 17/02/99 +1000, David James wrote:
>Hi Birders,
>I'm quite puzzled/curious about the distribution of White-gaped Honeyeater
>(WGHO) in eastern Qld. Around Townsville they are locally common in two
>isolated restricted populations: (1) within the suburbs on the north bank
>of ross river; and (2) in the eastern? drainages of Mt Elliot.
>Aparently they occur south of Townsville in Ayr, but not Bowen. They don't
>seem to occur to the north of Townsville in the coastal forests and lowland
>or upland rainforests of the wet tropics. I've never seen them for instance
>around Ingham, Cardwell, Tully, Innisfail, Cairns, Daintree, Atherton,
>Malanda, Julaten or the Eastern Cape.  Most people I've talked to haven't
>seen them in too many palces either.


When I was working in Ingham (1996-97) there were WGHO in the neighbouring
gardens to my unit in Trebonne (8km west of Ingham).  The Italian community
love their gardens and planted a mix of exotics and natives, and many
provided birdbaths.

I was coordinator of the Ingham team's efforts in the annual BOCA Challenge
Bird Count in December 1996 and December 1997. From the 1996 records a
total of 16 WGHO were reported at the following locations:
 Trebonne/ Trebonne Creek (9 birds); 
 Ingham-Halifax Road (a pair); 
 CSR's Victoria Sugar Mill (4 birds); 
 3 Mile (1 bird)

If you would like the 1997 stats I will look them up for you. I doubt
whether the above distribution is indicative, as it depends on the time of
day a site was surveyed. Interestingly, I have never seen them on surveys
at Lucinda / Dungeness or at Cardwell where the Varied Honeyeater is quite

At my present home in Gulliver a pair of WGHO hang around the mango tree
and make daily trips to the security/fly screens to glean moths trapped
overnight, but I have never tried to track their movements over the period
of a day. 

We also saw a single bird at the Lavarack Barracks revegetation site last
Saturday (13 February); they are only reported occasionally from there.   

Hope this helps.

Alex Appleman

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