White-plumed Honeyeater calls

To: <>
Subject: White-plumed Honeyeater calls
From: "JAPhilip" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2007 00:06:34 +1030
Peter Shute wrote:
"Happy New Year, everyone. I've finally identified the "little green birds"
that have invaded my street (Altona, Vic) in the last few weeks -
White-plumed Honeyeaters.  It took a while before I was able to see that
they had a white neck plume at all, let alone a black line above it.  The
books make these look obvious, but I find they often almost disappear unless
the bird's head is straight.

Anyway, I was thinking White-plumed Honeyeater was the only possibility,
except that the calls I'm hearing don't match what the books describe at
all.  I'm hearing tsip (pause) tsip all day as they feed, and kikikikiki at
dusk.  Simpson & Day says chick-owee and chick-abiddy. Slater says
chee-uck-oo-wee and chick-wist chick-wist. The latter also says ti ti ti is
an alarm call, but my kikikikiki doesn't sound like an alarm call.

I know these descriptions can easily be interpreted in different ways, but
what I'm hearing is very different. Has anyone else heard these different
I'm a total amateur and may well be shot down in flames but ...
The (many) White-plumed Honeyeaters in my garden in Adelaide say, to my
ears, "Willie Wheatie, Willie Wheatie".
The same birds, elsewhere, make totally different calls to my ears.  I've
been bamboozled by their calls even in the Adelaide area and have searched
diligently for the strange birds making such strange sounds only to find
that they were indeed WPHEs.
I hope that experts on the list will confirm that WPHEs do have an enormous
variety of calls.
And will describe them.
And yes, the white neck plume is far from always obvious on "my" "little
green birds".
Happy New Year!


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