Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus affinis)


French: Méliphage à tête noire German: Schwarzkopf-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero carinegro

Eidopsarus affinis


, 1839,

Nova Wallia meridionalis = Tasmania


Closest to M. albogularis and M. lunatus. Birds of King I described as race alisteri, but no constant differences apparent between them and populations from mainland Tasmania and Flinders I. Monotypic.


Islands in Bass Strait (King I and Furneaux Group), and Tasmania.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; male 14–17·5 g, female 15·1 g. Small honeyeater with short and only slightly downcurved bill, and rather short tail. Has black hood marked only... read more


Noisy. Main vocalization a repeated sharp piping “pee” of 2 or more notes; given... read more


Mostly dry sclerophyll forests dominated by Eucalyptus and with sparse to dense... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly arthropods (mainly insects, also spiders); some nectar and fruit. Forages mostly among foliage of saplings or crowns of trees... read more


Season late Sept to Feb, mainly Nov–Jan, with eggs recorded Dec, and nestlings Sept–Nov and Feb; usually double-brooded.... read more


Resident. Some local movements (sometimes described as locally nomadic) by part of population after... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Tasmania EBA. Common and widespread in Tasmania (except SW); locally common on King I; common and widespread on... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Black-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus affinis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 January 2020).