Check Out This Redhead!
A brilliant little buddy to watch out for around this time of year is the shy little Scarlet Honeyeater.
The first thing you’ll see is a vivid flash of scarlet, showing why it gets the nickname ‘bloodbird.'
Although it mainly prefers foraging for blossom in the tops of mature Turpentine, Melaleuca and Pittosporum trees, the Scarlet Honeyeater will drop down to ground level to drink from your birdbath and feast on the blossoms of smaller bushes.
As the cooler weather closes in, Scarlet Honeyeaters are seeking out winter flowering nativesuch as grevilleas and banksias. If you have these plants in your garden this little honeyeater will hover about to collect the nectar, tiny wings beating rapidly and the curved beak dipping in and out of flowers.
Listen also for the tinkling, descending call of the male, a perfect give away that these beautiful buddies are nearby.
Plant winter flowering natives such as Grevillia Robyn Gordon and Banksia integrifolia, B. spinulosaand B. serrata to providewintertime food for this discerning honeyeater. Protect tall,mature trees which these birds prefer for nest-building.
DID YOU KNOW?
Scarlet Honeyeaters were once common in Sydney and still visit local parks and gardens, particularly in winter to seek blossom.They range along the east coast of Australia from Gippsland in Victoria to Cooktown in Queensland as well as tropical Asia and some Pacific islands, and tend to move north in winter. Their numbers may be declining across their range due to loss of mature habitat trees.