White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis): is a medium-sized bird, 200-205 millimetres long. There is a distinctive black marking from the face to upper breast with large white ear patch. The upper parts are deep olive green and yellow-olive below.
White-eared Honeyeaters are usually observed singly, in pairs or small family groups and very active and may be aggressive.
They seem to prefer hunting insects than feeding on nectar although White-eared Honeyeaters take nectar from our large-flowered Grevilleas such as “Honey Gem” and “Pink Surprise”
White-eared Honeyeaters build nests that are deep cups consisting of bark pieces and grass, bound together with spider web and lined with fur, hair or wool. Our White-eared Honeyeaters nest in a wide range of plants including Grevilleas, Prostantheras and Westringias. In the breeding season they land on our heads and attempt to remove hair for nesting construction. They have also been observed landing on backs of Grey Kangaroos in order to remove fur.
Usually 2-3 eggs are laid that are whitish to pale cream with scattered red and red-brown spots.
White-eared Honeyeaters are found in the eastern parts of Queensland and New South Wales, throughout Victoria as well as southern parts of South Australia and Western Australia.
We have had a long relationship with this Honeyeater both in our previous garden and here at Yallaroo. They were one of the first smallish native birds to take up residence at Yallaroo as our dense shrubberies developed and provided protection. They sometimes chase other birds but these are usually half-hearted attempts and other birds are not put off by this unwelcome attention.