Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Lewin's Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii)


French: Méliphage de Lewin German: Goldohr-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero de Lewin

Ptilotis lewinii


, 1837,

region of Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia


Proposed race nea (Dandenong, in SC Victoria) included in nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. l. amphochlora Schodde, 1989 – McIlwraith Range (E Cape York Peninsula), with outliers on summits S to Cooktown, in NE Queensland.
  • M. l. mab (Mathews, 1912) – coastal NE Queensland from Cooktown S to Dawson–Mackenzie Basin, extending inland to summits of Great Divide.
  • M. l. lewinii (Swainson, 1837) – coastal E & SE Australia from Dawson–Mackenzie Basin (Dawes Range) S to Victoria (W Gippsland and Dandenong Ranges), extending inland to summits of Great Divide, with apparently isolated population farther W in North West Slopes and Plains Region of New South Wales.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–21·5 cm; male 27·5–49·5 g and female 27·3–41·5 g (nominate), male 28–39 g and female 29·6–36... read more


    Calls throughout day. Most common call a highly distinctive rapid rattle of staccato notes,... read more


    Mainly rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests, also dense vegetation at edge of rainforest and in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fruits, of wide variety of plants, and nectar; also insects, some spiders (Araneae) and molluscs. Forages at all levels,... read more


    In NE of range recorded Jul–Mar, with estimated start of laying Aug–Mar, and in S (SE Queensland S to Victoria) eggs Sept-early... read more


    Resident, with some local movements. In NE Queensland, small numbers descend to lower altitudes in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common. Recorded densities of 0·05–0·2 birds/ha. Race amphochlora has apparently small population... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Lewin's Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii). 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).