Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)


French: Méliphage à front blanc German: Weißstirn-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero frentiblanco

Glyciphila albifrons


, 1841,

York district, south Western Australia


In past, sometimes grouped with Phylidonyris novaehollandiae and P. niger in a separate genus, Meliornis; has also been considered close to Gliciphila melanops. Monotypic.


Widespread through arid and semi-arid Western Australia E to S Northern Territory (mostly S of 23° S), SW Queensland (S from about Mt Isa), South Australia (mostly N of 33° S), W New South Wales and W Victoria (in Mallee and Wimmera regions, mainly N of 37° S).

Descriptive notes

13–18·5 cm; male 15–22 g, female 12–19 g. Plumage is mostly black-brown above, with fine white scaling on crown and nape merging into heavy white... read more


Can be noisy when nesting. Main call a distinctive, ringing, metallic "tink-tink", "chink-chink", "... read more


Occupies fairly dense mallee eucalypt shrubland, woodland or heathland, with shrub layer often... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists mainly of nectar, e.g. of Eucalyptus, Erythrina, Lophostemon, Eremophila; also arthropods... read more


Season Aug–Nov, but occasional records for all other months (mostly Feb–Jul); probably double-brooded. Possibly semi-colonial... read more


Complex, not fully understood; described as resident at a few sites. Generally highly mobile, but... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. No estimates of total population; recorded densities of up to 0·73 birds/ha. Widespread, but largely absent from SW and far N... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons). 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 21 February 2020).