I've found White-gaped Honeyeaters on the McLeod River on Southern Cape York
(1995), and also in the Twelve Mile Creek area of Lakefield National Park
(1998). While it is possibly a little out of the area you are concerned
with, here at Pormpuraaw (used to be called Edward River settlement- about
220 km west of Musgrave on the west coast of the Cape) the WGHoneyeater is
abundant. It is one of the most common birds and is in every habitat, from
mangroves to denser vine scrub, along rivers and in sparse casuarinas on the
beachfront as well as the town itself. ABout the only honeyeater that comes
close to it in abundance would be the Rufous-banded Honeyeater.
Good luck finding out what is going on.
Dept.of Environment and Heritage,
Pormpuraaw, Qld, Australia, 4871
From: David James <>
Date: Wednesday, 17 February 1999 6:46
Subject: birding-aus RFI White-gaped Honeyeater
>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.
>The Atlas shows records in every block along the coast from about Bowen to
>Princess Charlotte Bay. I find that hard to beleive. Storr (1983, revised
>list of Q Birds) has a more reasonable distribution in three populations:
>(1) Gulf, (2) Southern Cape York S to Mareeba and E to Helenevale; and (3)
>Townsville to Inkerman. However, there is only one record from Hellenvale,
>1948-49 (see Mclean 1995 Sunbird 25:69).
>Something is fishy. Why such big gaps in the range? There's nothing
>obviously perculiar about their habitat preferences: mesic, riparian
>forests and gardens. No problems with "development". They seem to need
>permanent water. They can co-exist with other honeyeaters like Yellow and
>I'm intertested to know were other birders have seen White-gapeds in Qld,
>apart from in the far NW. I'm not after details, just districts and
>whether recent or long ago.
>Please reply direct to me, and I'll summarise for birding Aus.
>thanks in advance,
>PO BOX 5225
>Townsville Mail Centre 4810
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