[Since writing this posting, taxonomists have done dramatic things to this genus, such that its 18 species have been reduced to just two (Purple-gaped and Yellow-tufted), and the genus split into 7! Without at presuming to criticise the work - it was based on molecular studies, and I have no expertise there - I always marvel at the very different approaches taken by bird and plant taxonomists. The bird people are very thorough in sorting out subtle groupings within larger ones, while the botanists tend to use a very broad brush - or large barrel - indeed, creating huge taxa of related plants without, it sometimes seems, a lot of nuance. Anyway, that's just me. Rather than do away with this posting altogether, I've opted to retain it, noting that many of the species still form a natural grouping, even if not a genus. I have inserted the new genus names in brackets - that doesn't imply I'm rejecting the changes though.]
|Yellow-faced Honeyeater L. (Caligavis) chrysops, south coast New South Wales.|
L. (Ptilotula) penicillata, a name which compares
white plumes to a paintbrush. Milang, South Australia.
One of those honeyeaters which replaces it in the tropics is the White-gaped honeyeater, whose cheery chewy calls in the pandanus thickets and streamside scrubs are a pleasant change from the White-plumed’s constant carping.
|White-gaped Honeyeater L. (Stomiopera) unicolor, Darwin.|
|Yellow-tinted Honeyeater L. (Ptilotula) flavescens, Edith Falls, Nitmiluk NP, Northern Territory.|
Another tropical lichen-mouth is the lovely Yellow Honeyeater, sometimes known as Bush Canary for obvious reasons. It is found only in north-east tropical Queensland.
|Yellow Honeyeater L. (Stomiopera) flavus, Ingham, north Queensland|
a close relative of the White-gaped.
|Yellow-tufted Honeyeater L. melanops, Jerrabomberra wetlands, Canberra.|
|White-eared Honeyeater L. (Nesoptilotis) leucotis, Jindabyne, New South Wales. A feature of this very handsome bird is its ringing melodic ‘chock’ call, like a guitar chord.|
|Varied Honeyeaters, Cairns Esplanade.|