Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

White-quilled Honeyeater (Entomyzon albipennis)


French: Méliphage à pennes blanches German: Weißschwingen-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero aliblanco

Entomyzon albipennis


, 1841,

Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia


Hitherto treated as conspecific with E. cyanotis, but differs from both of latter’s races in its large white vs beige-pink wing patch (broad bases of primaries) which on upperwing is fringed yellowish, creating a bold pale wingpanel (3); black (or more extensive black) on carpal area (1); fractionally darker grey throat, generally darker upperparts and usually reduced white on hindcrown-band (all unscored); longer bill (from published data#R effect size vs griseigularis 3.5; vs nominate 2.5; score 2); and shorter tail (from published data#R effect size vs griseigularis −0.63; vs nominate −2.9; score 1). Birds from Melville I (NW Northern Territory) formerly separated as race apsleyi. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

N Western Australia (Kimberley Division) E across Top End of Northern Territory (including Melville I) to extreme NW Queensland (Nicholson–Leichhardt Rivers, on S Gulf of Carpentaria).

Descriptive notes

26–32·3 cm; male 110·5–135 g, female 94·1–118·8 g. Distinctive, large, sturdy and full-chested honeyeater with strong, decurved bill, broad rounded wings and moderately long... read more


No differences known between the vocalizations of this species and E. cyanotis, but... read more


Mostly open forests and woodlands, particularly riparian associations. Mainly dry, open sclerophyll... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly arthropods (mostly insects, some spiders) and nectar (often of eucalypts), but also fruit (from native and exotic plants). Forages... read more


Poorly known in comparison to E. cyanotis, although most aspects of breeding biology are presumably very similar. Breeds Apr–Dec;... read more


Largely resident and sedentary, with some local movements reported and occasional fluctuations in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in most of large range (estimated at 1,200,000 km²) and population believed to be stable. No estimates of total population,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). White-quilled Honeyeater (Entomyzon albipennis). 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).