Yellow-faced Honeyeater

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Another of our common summer migrants has just arrived on the Strathbogie Tableland. Today I heard the first Yellow-faced Honeyeater  for the season. There are several honeyeaters that reside here all-year-round (e.g. White-eared Honeyeaters, Yellow-winged Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills, White-naped Honeyeaters and Red Wattlebirds), but the Yellow-faced Honeyeater (YfH) is here just for the summer. And what it lacks in residence-time, it makes up for in numbers – over summer its probably the most numerous and conspicuous of all the honeyeaters.

You can listen to its distinctive call at here. Go to the  Wikipedia page on YfHs to see the image at right.

Yellow-winged Honeyeater (G. Chapman)

It appears that during our winter, all our summer YfHs migrate to their winter-feeding areas. They move north, either inland to the box-ironbark woodlands of the Murray Darling Basin, or to the mountains and heathlands of coastal NSW.  YfHs are just one of a variety of species that travel many hundreds of kilometers follow their food-trail (read more).

Though they may change their migration routes from year to year, depending on seasonal conditions, its pretty clear that they make use of the earth’s magnitic field for direction finding (e.g. More info. here). No one knows exactly where the birds from different areas migrate to when they leave, but we can safely assume that most of the birds that come back each year, are the ones that were bred here in previous summers.

Eastern Spinebill (G. Chapman)
White-eared Honeyeater (G.Chapman)
Red Wattlebird (G.Chapman)