Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Red-headed Myzomela (Myzomela erythrocephala)


French: Myzomèle à tête rouge German: Rotkopf-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero cabecirrojo

Myzomela erythrocephala


, 1840,

King Sound, north Western Australia


Sometimes treated as conspecific with M. kuehni and M. dammermani. Races intergrade in C & S Torres Strait. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. e. infuscata W. A. Forbes, 1879 – Aru Is, coastal S New Guinea (Triton Bay E to Domara, E of Cape Rodney) and islands of Torres Strait.
  • M. e. erythrocephala Gould, 1840 – islands of C & S Torres Strait, and from N Western Australia (near Broome, in S Kimberley Division) E along coast, including offshore islands and islets (such as Melville I and Sir Edward Pellew Group, in Northern Territory), to N Queensland (Cape York Peninsula S on E coast to Princess Charlotte Bay).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–13 cm; male 7–11 g, female 6–9·4 g (nominate). Male nominate race has dark red hood marked with narrow black loral stripe continuous with thin... read more


    Song a repetitive metallic jingling sound; contact call described as brisk and rather harsh “... read more


    Mangrove thickets or forests, especially extensive stands typically dominated by combinations of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily nectar; also small arthropods (mainly insects, some spiders). Forages mainly at flowers and in outer foliage in canopy of trees,... read more


    No information for New Guinea. In Australia, breeding recorded Mar, Jun–Oct and probably Nov, eggs recorded May–Oct; in Darwin... read more


    In Australia and at least some islands of Torres Strait generally considered resident, but numbers... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to fairly common. No estimates of overall abundance; recorded at mean densities of 0·04–5·5 birds/ha.   read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Red-headed Myzomela (Myzomela erythrocephala). 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 16 February 2020).