We continue sharing the wonders of The Kimberley region of WA, focusing this week on the many species of Honeyeater found there. Over a third of Australia’s bird species are found in this arid region, and many are honeyeaters. The amazing or ironic fact is that the native shrubs and trees of this region grow in the hardest and poorest of soils, yet their flowers produce more nectar than most other flowers in the world, which helps feed the millions of birds that move about. Honeyeaters thrive on nectar when flowers are blooming, such as the ones we saw pictured below. How amazing to see so many blooms in the desert areas.

Honeyeaters also enjoy many insects, some grass seeds, some small reptiles, some varieties of native fruit (figs and berries). Many species of Honeyeater have a long tubular tongue which they can quickly move in and out of their mouth, and reach into the flower sucking the nectar in a straw-like fashion. Some birds of the Parrot family use their tongue to flick the nectar into their mouth. The White-throated Gerygone (pronounced: Ger-ig-on -ee), pictured above, was the last lifer we saw before leaving the Broome Bird Observatory. It has a call, which is unceasingly beautiful. Listen to its call:

White-throated Gerygone calling

The Gerygone is always a challenge to photograph since they are constantly moving about. Here are some of our 17 lifers (new honeyeater species) we encountered in the Kimberley.

Here are some of the ones we have found here before. Notice the family of Blue-faced Honeyeater, the ones with greenish faces are the immatures.

While Lorakeets and Rosella are not listed as Honeyeaters, eating mainly blossom, seed and fruit, they do enjoy feeding on nectar, as you can see below. They use their thick tongues to flick the nectar into their mouth. The Northern Rosella is another lifer.

Northern Rosella feeding on Silky Grevillea nectar

The Red-collared Lorikeet was also seen in Broome. It is a cousin of our Rainbow Lorikeet. These birds also enjoy nectar, but these ones are enjoying native fruit when we spotted them near Cable Beach.

Have a wonderful week and welcome to those visiting here for the first time. Check out my birding pages here on my website for tips and info on birding. Also check out my books which are also available here securely online. They make very interesting, uplifting and encouraging gifts for people of all ages. Click on image below to find out more.

In my second book, Flight of a Fledgling, I share how the Honeyeater chases the blossom to thrive. This highlights the importance of preserving flowering native trees and shrubs. See above photo. In this chapter chasing good food is equated with our need to chase after healthy living habits if we are to enjoy a long illness free life. We are both in our 60s and know now how important this is, along with regular exercise and adequate sleep and hydration. This book is great for young people about to go out into the world and is full of helpful self counselling tips for a healthy happy life. There is much wisdom in self control. Addictions are one of the greatest enemies to good health – emotionally, physically and psychologically, as well as destructive to many relationships. Self Control is cited as a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit.

“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” – Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness  and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” – Titus 2:6-8


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