Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Grey-eared Honeyeater (Lichmera incana)


French: Méliphage à oreillons gris German: Grauohr-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero orejigrís
Other common names: Dark-brown Honeyeater

Certhia incana


, 1790,

New Caledonia


Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. i. griseoviridis Salomonsen, 1966 – C Vanuatu, including Malakula, Ambrym, Paama, Lopevi, Epi, Tongoa, Tongariki, Emae, Makura, Mai, Nguna and Éfaté.
  • L. i. flavotincta (G. R. Gray, 1870) – Erromango, in S Vanuatu.
  • L. i. poliotis (G. R. Gray, 1859) – Beautemps Beaupré, Ouvéa and Lifou, in Loyalty Is.
  • L. i. mareensis Salomonsen, 1966 – Maré, in Loyalty Is.
  • L. i. incana (Latham, 1790) – New Caledonia and I of Pines.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–17 cm; two males 12 g and 15 g, eight unsexed 9·5–14·5 g. Nominate race is dark olive-brown above, with small patch of largely bare blackish skin... read more


    Noisy, with vocalizations described as cheery or pleasing; most vocal in morning and evening, and... read more


    Widespread and common in all habitats except humid forests and open fields: primary and secondary... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, pollen, fruit, also small arthropods (including insects, spiders). Feeds on wide range of flowering plants, but on Vanuatu shows... read more


    Season protracted, but few data for timing of laying or nestlings: in New Caledonia normally Oct/Nov–Jan, but earlier statements... read more


    Sedentary; local movements to flowering plants.  

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Vanuatu and Temotu EBA and in New Caledonia EBA. Common and widespread throughout its range. In Vanuatu, possible... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Grey-eared Honeyeater (Lichmera incana). 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 25 February 2020).