Subject: honeyeaters
From: "L.E.C." <>
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 1995 11:29:39 +1000 (EET)
On 5 April, 1995, Kerrilee Horskins wrote:

> I am currently writing an honours thesis at Monash Uni. after 
> investigating the role of the honeybee in the breeding biology of the 
> yellow mallee in Wyperfeld National Park.  After comparing the volume 
> of available nectar throughout the day with the study of Bond and 
> Brown (1979),I found that nectar levels were much higher this year 
> than in 1977 when their study was conducted, although weather 
> conditions were comparable.
> Whilst in the field, I did not observe any wattlebirds or honeyeaters 
> visiting Eucalyptus costata whereas Bond and Brown recorded numerous 
> visits. 
> As the mallee is in drought, I am interested to know whether 
> anyone has noted the presence of such nectar eating birds from 
> the Wyperfeld/mallee region,in areas not usually visited.

Kerrilee -- There were a few general observations this year, as is usual
during a drought, of mallee honeyeaters south of their normal range in
Victoria.  Those of which I'm aware include: (i) Black Honeyeaters were
seen down to the suburbs of Ballarat (reported in nature notes column of
`The Ballarat Courier'), (ii) I saw White-fronted Honeyeaters and
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters west of the Grampians in March, (iii) Pied
Honeyeaters were seen in various parts of western Victoria.  I know there
were lots of other sightings of mallee honeyeaters in southern Victoria,
but I don't have any record of them myself.  The Bird Observers Club
(they're in the phone book) will have received these kinds of records over
summer/autumn of 1994/95.  I'm surprised to hear that there were no
honeyeater visits at all to the E. costata flowers.  Even in the driest
weather, I'd expect some honeyeaters to still be there (Purple-gaped HE,
Yellow-plumed HE, etc.).  The species that move out of the mallee in dry
times are typically the ones I named above in (i), (ii) & (iii), whereas
Purple-gaped HE and Yellow-plumed HE are unlikely to do so.  What time of
day were you in the field usually? 

Good luck with your project -- Lawrie.

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