Blue-faced honeyeaters are brightly colored birds named for the vibrant blue skin around their yellow to white eyes. The crown of their head as well as their neck is black, and they have a black “bib” on their upper breast. Blue-faced honey eaters have a white stomach with golden olive-green wings and back. They have a white band across the back of their neck as well as a white strip on either side of the face that connects to a white belly. The upper parts of the wings and the back are a golden olive-green color. Juveniles are similar in color, but their facial skin is a yellow-green and their bib is a lighter grey. They average about a 1ft long and have a wingspan of about 17in.
Predators of the blue-faced honeyeater are mostly birds of prey.
Blue-faced honeyeaters can live, on average, up to 10 years.
Breeding season typically occurs between June and January, with one or two broods raised during this time. Blue-faced honeyeaters will form breeding pairs, but may sometimes be cooperative breeders, where a younger bird will help the main breeding pair feed hatchlings. Females will lay 2-3 eggs in a cup-shapes nest made of sticks and bark. They will often use the nests of other bird species but will reline the nest for their eggs. Both parents will help take care of the young.
- The blue-faced honeyeater is a social bird and will typically live in flocks of 4-10 birds.
- The blue-faced honeyeater’s tongue has a brush-like tip for collecting nectar.
- Blue-faced honeyeaters are also known as “banana birds” in tropical areas due to their habit of feeding on banana fruit and flowers.
- Early risers, the blue-faced honeyeater is one of the first birds to be heard calling in the morning, often calling 30 minutes before sunrise.
Conservation of the Natural World
Blue-faced honeyeaters are currently listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, just like many other Australian species, they face many threats to their habitats. One major issue is logging and clearing land for agriculture and property development. More than 50% of Australia’s land mass is used for agricultural purposes!
One thing that we can do is support sustainable agriculture practices. By purchasing products that are certified such as Bird Friendly Coffee, you are helping in the conservation of forests and habitat around the world.