Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Hill-forest Honeyeater (Microptilotis orientalis)


French: Méliphage montagnard German: Schlankschnabel-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero montesino
Other common names: Mountain Honeyeater, Mountain Meliphaga

Ptilotis flavirictus orientalis

A. B. Meyer

, 1894,

south-east New Guinea


Race citreolus originally considered an altitudinal variant of M. analogus; relatively distinctive and merits further study (no voice recordings known). Previously accepted form becki of NE New Guinea (Adelbert Mts and Huon Peninsula S to Wau region) regarded as inseparable from citreolus#R. Racial identity of populations of Fakfak Mts, Kumawa Mts, Wandammen Mts and Foja Mts not certain; all may belong in facialis, or Foja birds perhaps in citreolus, or some or all may represent undescribed races. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. o. facialis (Rand, 1936) – mountains of Waigeo (West Papuan Is), and of Vogelkop, Fakfak, Kumawa and Wandammen Mts and Central Range of New Guinea (from Weyland Mts and S slopes of Snow Mts) E to Okapa region of Eastern Highlands.
  • M. o. citreolus (Rand, 1941) – N slopes of Snow Mts and C North Coastal Range (Foja Mts, Bewani Mts, Torricelli Mts and Prince Alexander Mts), and mountains of NE New Guinea (Adelbert Mts and Huon Peninsula S to Wau region).
  • M. o. orientalis (A. B. Meyer, 1894) – mountains of SE New Guinea E from Mambare R and, in S, from at least Angabunga R and including Aseki area (Morobe Province).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; 16–20 g, male average 18·6 g and female average 17·6 g (facialis), male 17·5–20 g and female 14·8–20g... read more


    Call notes include bright monosyllabic staccato “tup” or “tuck”, probably... read more


    Primary forest (including Castanopsis oak forest), forest edge, tall secondary growth,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet nectar, arthropods (mainly insects), sometimes fruit. Known to feed at inflorescences of Schefflera (Araliaceae). Typically... read more


    One nest described, at Crater Mt in mid-May: tightly made, slightly oval cup of plant fibre, twigs and vines, covered externally with live... read more


    Resident at Crater Mt and probably at Moroka; probably resident, with some local movements,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common at middle altitudes. No estimates of total population.  

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Hill-forest Honeyeater (Microptilotis orientalis). 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).