honeyeater

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honeyeater

or

honeysucker,

common name for arboreal birds comprising some 160 species of the family Meliphagidae, and found in Australia, New Zealand, and the SW Pacific. There is a single South American genus. The plumage tends to be dull, ranging from greenish to grayish brown, with little difference between the sexes. They range in length from 4 to 17 in. (10–42.5 cm). Some species of the genus Myzomelia are more distinctly colored, with contrasting red tones, and these species show sexual dimorphism. Many members of the family have yellow or white ear patches, and one, the parson bird, or New Zealand tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), is marked by two white throat feathers, said to give the appearance of a cleric's bib. The tui is a delightful songster and an excellent mimic. The family also shows a tendency to featherless patches on the face such as seen in the friarbirds and wattlebirds of Australia. Honeyeaters vary greatly in body and bill form, but all have in common a highly specialized, extendable, brushlike tongue, with a horny, pointed tip. This they use to brush up pollen and suck at nectar. Because they feed on pollen and nectar (and the insects attracted to them), honeyeaters are important pollinators. Most are species of the treetops and flowering branches, but several Australian species are adapted to open country. None are solitary. They are gregarious to varying degrees and travel in bands, particularly the helmeted honeyeater, Meliphaga cassidix, of Australia. Nest and nesting habits also vary, but none of the honeyeaters are ground nesters. The number of eggs per clutch ranges from two in the tropical species to four in those of temperate areas. Male participation in rearing also varies, but most help in feeding the young. Honeyeaters are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Meliphagidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
The community monitoring program is an important part of the project with more than 100 dedicated community volunteers participating in the surveying and monitoring of Regent Honeyeaters.
Scores of honeyeaters and small insectivorous birds and echidnas visit the pool to drink and bathe.
Or a discussion of pedagogical responses to the declining populations of Regent Honeyeaters and Crested Bellbirds in central Victoria?
3), and a second in which the states 'bird' and 'insect' were each subdivided into three separate states: hummingbirds, sunbirds, and honeyeaters (meliphagid); and bee, beetle and moth respectively.
With the exception of the chicken from the United States and 5 isolates from birds in Australia (2 chickens [B1068 and B1074], 1 fantail, 1 honeyeater, and 1 wren), all were also positive for cdtB with the s2/as2 primer pair.
Raucous birdlife kicks in at dawn, with screeching corellas, rainbow bee-eaters, screaming bowerbirds and honeyeaters, while a boulder-clambering gorge hike to a waterhole reveals endless native plants - pandanus, melaleuca, grevillea, wattle.
The most common species are honeyeaters, which feed on the nectar from the albizzia trees, brush cuckoo, brown-breasted gerygone, black-headed whistler and the superb and raggiana bird of paradise, which is the national emblem of Papua New Guinea and is depicted on Sigri coffee sacks.
And the finches and honeyeaters and tiny wrens twittered and chattered like little stabbing needles decorating the surface with needlework.
To test for presence of avian disease on Sarigan, biologists captured Micronesian honeyeaters (Myzomela rubrata) and collared kingfishers (Halcyon cbloris) by mist-net and took blood samples, with a subsample of birds subjected to necropsies.
Other wild birds--say honeyeaters or bower birds--will bash themselves against the wire, but wild parrots remain calm, if not exactly friendly, when imprisoned.