Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Grey-headed Honeyeater (Ptilotula keartlandi)


French: Méliphage à tête grise German: Grauscheitel-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero cabecigrís

Ptilotis keartlandi


, 1895,

McMinns Range, central Australia


Previously thought to be closest to Lichenostomus cratitius, but molecular data#R indicate that it belongs in present genus. Monotypic.


NC Western Australia (S Kimberley Division and Pilbara) E to SW Northern Territory (E to NW Simpson Desert, and patchily in N around Victoria R and in subcoastal S Gulf of Carpentaria to Barkly Tableland), NW South Australia and W Queensland (S of Mt Isa, and in upper Cooper Creek Drainage Basin; apparently isolated population near Eulo).

Descriptive notes

13–16·5 cm; male 13–17g, female 12·5–18 g. Has pale grey top of head grading to light grey-brown on hindneck and upperbody, slightly browner... read more


Not well known. Calls frequently, particularly when foraging. Loud, penetrating and rather peevish... read more


Mainly low, open, arid and semi-arid woodlands, typically in sandstone ranges but also on... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates (mostly insects, also spiders) and nectar, occasionally fruit. Proportions of observations comprising foraging for nectar 35... read more


Recorded in all months, probably mainly winter-spring, although suggested as breeding at any time after rain; clutches Jan–Feb, Apr... read more


Poorly known. Apparently mainly resident, with at least local movements. Occasional influxes at... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Relativly poorly known species, with little information on numerical status. Widespread in N Western Australia and W Queensland. No estimates of... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Grey-headed Honeyeater (Ptilotula keartlandi). 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 15 December 2019).