Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Yellow Honeyeater (Stomiopera flava)


French: Méliphage jaune German: Zitronenhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero amarillo

Ptilotis flava


, 1843,

Port Essington, N coast of Australia = Cape York, north-east Queensland, Australia


Sister to S. unicolor#R. Geographical variation may be clinal (e.g. wing length appears to decrease clinally from S to N, but much individual variation), and differences between races slight; races appear to be separated by high ridges of Burdekin–Lynd Divide but may come into contact along narrow lowland corridor E of Great Divide, and apparently intergrade where they abut; more material from S of range required. Two subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. f. flava (Gould, 1843) – Cape York Peninsula and coastal and subcoastal far NE Queensland S to about Burketown (SE Gulf of Carpentaria) in W and to Burdekin–Lynd Divide in E.
  • S. f. addenda (Mathews, 1912) – coastal and subcoastal CE Queensland from high country of Burdekin–Lynd Divide S to Broad Sound.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 18 cm; male 19–30·8 g, female 16–25·4 g. Nominate race mainly olive-yellow above and on side of head, lemon-yellow below; diffuse lemon-yellow... read more


    Vocal, especially at roosts or when mobbing; calls in flight. Four vocalizations distinguished in... read more


    Open riparian forests and woodlands, particularly around swamps and other wetlands, typically... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes nectar, fruit and small arthropods (mainly insects, some spiders). Forages mainly in trees and shrubs, among foliage, trunks... read more


    Recorded in all months, clutches Aug–May and nestlings Sept–May; one pair known to have raised three broods in one year.... read more


    Resident throughout range; in study of colour-ringed population at Townsville, found to be... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common. No estimates of total population; recorded density of 0·02 birds/ha along Lockhart R.  

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Yellow Honeyeater (Stomiopera flava). 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 14 December 2019).