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Spotted Honeyeater

From Opus

Alternative Names: Gray's Honeyeater, Many-spotted Honeyeater, Spotted Xanthotis

Photo by Mehd HalaouateTaja, Papua, September 2006
Photo by Mehd Halaouate
Taja, Papua, September 2006
Xanthotis polygrammus


[edit] Identification

15–17 cm, 6.7-7.5 inches

[edit] Adult

  • Distinctive, medium small honeyeater
  • crown and side of head and neck dark yellowish green-brown to black-brown
  • Fine white spots on nape
  • Large, fleshy partial orbital ring yellow to yellow-orange above eye, turning pink at rear of eye and pink or grey underneath eye
  • Eyering broken at front by blackish lores and bordered below by blackish moustachial stripe that continues across lower ear coverts
  • Pale grey patch on upper ear coverts
  • Dark yellowish green-brown mantle, back and scapulars with bold, but irregular barring or scaled white and overlaid with varying yellowish green wash, occasionally white spotting on nape continues to upper mantle
  • Yellow green-brown rump and upper tail coverts
  • Yellowish green uppertail with slightly greener edges of rectrices
  • Dark brown to dark yellowish green-brown upperwing
  • Small dirty white to yellowish green tips on lesser coverts
  • Yellowish-green edges and larger dirty white tips, occasionally tinged yellowish green, on greater coverts
  • Fairly broad yellowish green outer edges on remiges that shows as a strong yellowish green panel when the wing is folded
  • Pale grey chin and throat
  • Short, narrow and diffuse blackish malar stripe
  • Cream to pale yellowish brown underparts
  • Weak yellowish green tinge at side of breast
  • Fine yellowish green-brown streaks on upper breast merging into boldly flecked or spotted lower belly with large bold triangular marks throughout, most dense on lower breast, where the black feather tips surround a small white spot
  • Brownish-grey undertail
  • Yellowish green tinge at sides of rectrices
  • White underwing coverts, merging to yellowish brown across bases of remiges, with silvery grey-brown trailing edge and tip
  • Black-brown to black iris
  • Black, moderately long and slightly decurved beak.
  • Grey legs
  • Sexes alike, but male is larger than female

[edit] Juvenile

  • Similar to adult
  • auricular plume paler, sometimes washed grey,
  • Yellowish green tinge to mantle, back and scapulars
  • Reddish- or yellowish-brown tips on upperwing coverts
  • Fine yellowish brown tip on tail
  • Less boldly spotted underparts
  • Yellow gape more prominent than in adult

For subspecies descriptions see Taxonomy

[edit] Distribution

Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

[edit] Taxonomy

There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • X. p. polygrammus: Lacks yellow auricular plume of other subspecies
    Waigeo Island. New Guinea
  • X. p. kuehni: Yellowish green crown with dusky flecks or streaks, prominent yellow auricular plume, and yellow tinge on mantle, back and scapulars
    Misool Island. (New Guinea)
  • X.p. poikilosternos: Much smaller auricular plume, yellowish green tinge to crown, and yellowish tinge on mantle, back, scapulars and underparts
    Lower mountain slopes of western New Guinea and Salawati Island.
  • X. p. septentrionalis: auricular plume barely visible, upperparts slightly paler and duller than poikilosternos, with only very fine white streaks or speckles, greyish underparts lacking yellowish green tinge, iris of one adult male described as blue-grey
    Northern New Guinea (Mamberamo River to upper Sepik River)
  • X. p. lophotis: As nominate, but with ear coverts bordered at rear by bold yellow auricular plume that reaches up and back onto side of neck
    Mountains of southeastern New Guinea
  • X. p. candidior: Like lophotis, but black of feather centres of back less distinct, and underparts whiter, with finer black streaks and smaller black spots or flecks
    Southern New Guinea (Trans-Fly lowlands)

[edit] Habitat

Lowland, foothill and lower montane primary rainforest, foothill monsoon forest, secondary forest, edges of forest, dense savanna in lowlands. Up to 1500 m.
Mainly occurs in foothills and lower mountains, but common in lowlands in Trans-Fly region and around Port Moresby, and locally at base of foothills.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Mainly insectivorous, also nectar and fruit, including figs. Forages mainly from canopy to lower middle storey, also on vines, as well as in understorey. Typically forages in foliage, especially among dead curled leaves, gleaning arthropods, but also in flowering or fruiting plants. Also feeds by probing.
Usually single, less often in twos or threes, sometimes associates loosely with other Meliphagidae at food sources and occasionally in mixed flocks.

[edit] Breeding

Little information, but records of breeding condition throughout the year

[edit] Vocalisation

Fairly quiet, but can be noisy in small groups. Includes a short rising disyllabic melodious whistle, "wu-déé", repeated many times at intervals of 1.5–3.5 seconds, a repeated trisyllabic phrase from individuals in small parties, occasional "tup". Main vocalisation also described as a repeated descending series of mechanical notes

[edit] Movement

Thought to be sedentary with little or no movement

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved January 2016)

[edit] External Links


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