Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Graceful Honeyeater
Meliphaga gracilis
(Viewing 4 of 9 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Graceful Honeyeaters in Australia occur only in far NE Queensland, in two subspecies, one from Cape York south to Princess Charlotte Bay and the second from Cooktown to the vicinity of Townsville. They are found in or around lowland rainforest, mangroves, littoral vegetation along streams and also enter parks and gardens, usually in search of flowering plants.

A lot of people have trouble in distinguishing Graceful Honeyeaters from Yellow-spotted Honeyeaters - they share both the same range and much the same habitats. Apart from their very different songs or calls, Gracefuls have a longer and more curved bill but an easier way to distinguish adults is that adult Gracefuls have a deep blue eye whereas Yellow-spotteds have a dark brown eye. Young Gracefuls do have a brownish eye which changes with age. ( look at pics # 612205 and 612206)

However recent research has shown that the two subspecies actually merit specific rank and the nominate form (gracilis) which occurs between Cape York and Princess Charlotte Bay has brown eyes when adult, so in that area how to I.D. Yellow-spotted and Graceful Honeyeaters is even more difficult. Watch this space.


Photo: 612201

612201 ... Graceful Honeyeater.

Photo: 612202

612202 ... Graceful Honeyeater

Photo: 612203-D

612203-D ... Graceful Honeyeater

Photo: 612204

612204 ... Graceful Honeyeater


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