Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis)


French: Méliphage à menton blanc German: Weißkinn-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero goliblanco

Melithreptus albogularis


, 1848,

Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia


Races intergrade where they abut in Burdekin–Endeavour Rivers region of NE Australia. Birds of New Guinea and extreme NE Australia (Cape York Peninsula) sometimes separated as race vinitinctus, largely based on genetic data#R, but racial identity of populations in both regions requires confirmation. Proposed race subalbogularis (N Western Australia) included in nominate, and schoddei (E Queensland) in inopinatus. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. albogularis Gould, 1848 – disjunctly in S, NE & SE New Guinea (S Trans-Fly from Kurik E to Oriomo R; middle reaches of Markham R; upper Musa R, lower Ponganu R and Oro Bay and, S of Owen Stanley Range, Bereina E to Kupiano); Western Australia (from Kimberley and Broome) and Top End of Northern Territory (S to Barkly Tableland) E to NE Queensland (Cape York Peninsula S to Burdekin–Mitchell Drainage Basin), including numerous offshore islands.
  • M. a. inopinatus Schodde, 1989 – E Queensland (from Burdekin–Mitchell Drainage Basin) S on E slopes of Great Divide and adjacent coast to NE New South Wales (S to Macleay R).
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–14·5 cm; male 10–13g and female 9–12·5 g (nominate), male 12–15 g and female 10–15 g (inopinatus). Nominate... read more


    Varies. Most common call in Australia a rapid high-pitched shrill piping “t-tee, t-tee, t-tee…” or... read more


    In Australia, mainly open eucalypt forests and woodlands with either grassy or shrubby understorey... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates (mainly insects, also spiders) and nectar (e.g. of Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Grevillea). Forages at... read more


    Few observations from New Guinea, nestlings mid-Oct and fledglings in Oct and Apr, suggesting breeding in middle to late dry season and... read more


    Resident; local movements reported near edge of range (which sometimes described as nomadic). Some... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in Australia. No estimates of total population, but recorded densities range from less than 0·01 birds/ha to 2·1 birds/ha. The... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis). 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 22 January 2020).