To: "A.S. Katon" <>
Subject: Honeyeaters
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 09:32:51 +1000
A.S. Katon wrote:
Today I saw 3 species of honeyeater, the Brown-headed, Eastern Spinebill and the Lewin's within a few minutes, probing the same area on a Eucalyptus tree. On closer inspection of the tree, the area they were interested in was a damaged area with visible sap. Do fellow birders know wether honeyeaters consume tree sap or were they possibly just looking for insects.

Hi Anthony

I've seen this kind of thing in the Otway Ranges of SW Victoria around feeding incisions made by the Yellow-bellied Glider [YBG] (Petaurus australis), and various people have reported similar things from other tree wounds.  I saw Brown-headed, White-naped, Yellow-faced, White-eared, New Holland and Crescent Honeyeaters, plus Eastern Spinebill, Red and Little Wattlebirds - the wattlebirds seem to find it such a useful resource that they defend it from other birds!!  There was a paper in Emu a couple of years back, describing the range of birds using YBG incisions in wet sclerophyll forest on the Atherton Tableland in FNQ.

My observations suggest the birds actually consume the sap - though undoubtedly they pick up a few insects which are also attracted to the sugary sap.


Lawrie Conole
Senior Ecologist
Ornithology & Terrestrial Ecology

Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
Flora and Fauna Consultants
88B Station Street
FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia
E-mail: m("","lconole");">
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
Fax: (03) 9481 7679
ABN 83 006 757 142

NOTE: This message may contain privileged and/or confidential information intended for addressees only. Please do not copy or forward without permission.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU