Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)


Macgregor's Honeyeater (Macgregoria pulchra)


French: Méliphage de Macgregor German: Lappenhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero de Macgregor

Macgregoria pulchra

De Vis#R#R

, 1897,

Mount Scratchley, south-east New Guinea


Race carolinae differs mainly in shorter tail, but tail-length varies clinally#R; species perhaps better treated as monotypic. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. p. carolinae Junge, 1939 – discontinuously in Snow Mts and Oranje Mts (Mt Carstensz, Carstensz Meadow, Kemabu Plateau, Mt Wilhelmina, L Habbema) and Star Mts (Mt Capella, Dokfuma Meadow), in W & C New Guinea.
  • M. p. pulchra De Vis, 1897 – disjunctly on highest peaks of C Owen Stanley Range (Mt Strong–Mt Chapman, Mt Albert Edward, Mt Scratchley, Mt Victoria, Mt Batchelor), in SE New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 40 cm, 242–357 g; female 35–40 cm, 190–230 g. Large black honeyeater with yellow wattle covering most of side of head; short erectile feathers of... read more


    Vocalizes often; sexes maintain contact while foraging by countercalling, apparently having sex-... read more


    Subalpine woodland and forest, including patches within alpine grassland, dominated by two... read more

    Food and feeding

    Appears highly specialized, but not well known. Primarily frugivorous; almost certainly takes arthropods, and possibly forages at flowers.... read more


    Breeding apparently about Jul to Feb, with eggs possibly mid-Jul to mid-Aug; cycle seems mostly tied to unpredictable fruiting of main... read more


    Possibly largely sedentary, but considered also partial or local nomad or migrant. Movements (and... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. CITES II. Restrictedrange species: present in Central Papuan Mountains EBA. Common above 3000 m in Star Mts, where Ketengban people protect it for cultural... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Macgregor's Honeyeater (Macgregoria pulchra). 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).