Yellow Faced Honeyeater

Quick Facts

Length: 16 cm
Height: -
Weight: 16 grams
Colour: -
Habitat: Open forests and woodlands often near water and wetlands
Food: Nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds and insects
Predators: Cats
Status: Not Present in WA & NT. Secure in all other states and territories in Australia

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is a medium to small, plainly coloured honeyeater with a slightly down-curved bill. It is dark grey-brown above, with some brown streaking on the head, and paler below with lighter streaks. It has a distinctive, broad yellow face-stripe, bordered with black. The males are slightly larger but the sexes are otherwise similar. Young are paler and unstreaked on the head. It can be seen in large flocks when migrating, and in smaller groups when feeding.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater may be confused with several honeyeaters with similar yellow and black face markings, including the Singing, Varied, Mangrove, Bridled and Eungella Honeyeaters; however, it is much smaller than all of these and the eye stripe appears to run through the eye, rather than below it.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is widespread in eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia, from northern Queensland to eastern South Australia.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is found in open forests and woodlands, often near water and wetlands. It uses ridges, sand dunes, valleys and rivers when migrating. It is often found in urban areas, including in remnant bushland, as well as parks and gardens. It will use areas infested with weeds such as Scotch Broom and Blackberry.


Partially migratory, with regular movements to and from south-eastern Australia; moving north in autumn and south in spring.


Yellow-faced Honeyeaters feed on nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds, insects and their products. They tend to forage in the flowers and foliage of trees and shrubs, as well as mistletoe, and are rarely seen on the ground.


Breeding pairs of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters defend territories during the season. The female builds a neat, woven, sometimes fragile, cup from green materials such as moss, in the understorey of forests or in hedges, vines and other garden shrubs. She incubates the eggs alone, but both parents feed the young. The nests can be parasitised by the Shining and Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoos, as well as the Fan-tailed, Brush and, particularly, Pallid Cuckoos.


The Yellow-faced Honeyeater can be injured by cats. It has also been known to damage fruit in gardens and orchards.

Author: Rosalyn Plunkett
Last Updated: Friday 19th July, 2013
BirdLife Australia -


Signup for our monthly newsletter the "e-Telegraph"