Yellow-spotted or Graceful Honeyeater?

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Yellow-spotted or Graceful Honeyeater?
From: David James <>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 18:17:37 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,
Sorry for the late input on this. I have to agree with Lloyd that this is a 
Graceful Honeyeater. The visible characters that distinguish it from 
Yellow-spotted  are (in approx. order of usefulness):
* orange-yellow gape flange (skin) contrasting with yellow gape stripe 
(feathers) and earspot (all same colour in Y-S)
* diffuse yellow belly stripe (no stripe in Y-S, only diffuse wash of yellow 
with no pattern)
* upright stance, slender body and subtle neck (horizontal, crouching stance, 
awkward bulging chest and obvious neck indent in Y-S) 
* decurved lower mandible (straight in Y-S)
* clean and tidy grey underparts (shaggy rather than streaked in Y-S)
You can't see the diagnostic buff chin in the photo. 
The earspot shape is not so good as it can change when the feathers are raised 
(i.e. when alert) or during moult
In the field, calls are the best character.
I presume that Lloyd meant Lewin's (not Graceful) "has a dark navy-blue eye in 
adults". It is always brown in Graceful; the only ageing character I know is 
the softness of the juvenile feathers. 
Anyone who wants to know more about identifying these birds (incl. descriptions 
of calls and accurate distribution)  can refer to my (apparently 
obscure?) ID paper in Wingspan nearly twenty years ago:
 James, D.J. 1995. Identification: Honeyeaters with Yellow Ear-spots. Wingspan 
5(3): 34-7.


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