Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Kimberley Honeyeater (Microptilotis fordianus)


French: Méliphage du Kimberley German: Kimberleyhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero de Kimberley

Meliphaga fordiana


, 1989,

Mitchell River Falls, Mitchell Plateau, Kimberley Division, north-west Australia


Until recently treated as conspecific with M. albilineatus; molecular analyses#R indicate that both are also closely allied to M. reticulatus and that these are best treated as three separate species. Present species differs from M. albilineatus in its slightly paler mantle, scapulars, back and rump (1); whiter belly in centre (1); “very indistinct” vs “contrasting” yellow-olive panel on closed wing (2); and song#R with its faster pace (2), presence of short notes which have a high frequency range (2), absence of long tremulous notes (ns[2]) and slightly lower minimum frequencies (ns[1])#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

N Western Australia: Kimberley Division from Admiralty Gulf and Drysdale R S to King Leopold Ranges, E to Drysdale River National Park, and including islands off NW coast (Boongaree, Bigge and Wollaston, in Bonaparte Archipelago).

Descriptive notes

c. 18·5 cm; male 27·2–30·5 g, female 19·5–26·5 g. Medium-sized slim honeyeater with short, slender and slightly decurved bill,... read more


Poorly known. Song of powerful fluting notes, described as up to 12 upslurred and downslurred,... read more


Deep rugged sandstone gorges, gulleys, creek-lines and cliffs with sparse woodland of ... read more

Food and feeding

Very poorly known. Diet nectar (including of Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Xanthostemon), also invertebrates, including... read more


No information.


No information; probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Probably not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in North-west Australia EBA. No estimates of abundance levels, but considered moderately... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L., Ford, H. & de Juana, E. (2020). Kimberley Honeyeater (Microptilotis fordianus). 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 20 February 2020).