Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Macleay's Honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayanus)


French: Méliphage de Macleay German: Kappenhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero de Macleay

Ptilotis macleayana

E. P. Ramsay

, 1875,

Cardwell, Rockingham Bay, Queensland, Australia




NE Queensland from N of Cooktown S, including Hinchinbrook I and extending inland to W slopes of Atherton Tableland, to S Paluma Range, and occasionally farther (to The Pinnacles, SW of Townsville), in NE Australia.

Descriptive notes

17–21·5 cm; male 30–39 g, female 25·5–31 g. Highly distinctive, medium-sized honeyeater with rather short tail, and long, rather hefty,... read more


Calls loud and conspicuous, but species usually quiet. Song a rapid somewhat musical call of 2 or 3... read more


Mainly rainforest, mostly low-altitude forests (including mesophyll vine forest and complex... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insectivorous; also takes nectar and fruit, including small figs (Ficus). Forages at all levels of forest, particularly... read more


Poorly known. Breeding (including fledglings) reported in Sept–Dec and Feb–Mar, with eggs Oct–Dec and nestlings Oct. Nest... read more


Resident; possibly some seasonal altitudinal movements near Cooktown, moving to higher altitudes in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Queensland Wet Tropics EBA. Locally common. No estimates of numbers or density.

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Macleay's Honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayanus). 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).