Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

The Vocal Repertoires of Six Honeyeater (Meliphagidae) Species From Adelaide, South Australia

MA Jurisevic and KJ Sanderson

Emu 94(3) 141 - 148
Published: 1994


Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae) are prominent members of the avifauna in Australia, typically with four to five resident species in any area. We recorded vocalisations from six species resident around Adelaide in South Australia: the Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata, Little Wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera, Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala, White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomus penicillatus, New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae and Crescent Honeyeater Phylidonyris pyrrhoptera. The larger honeyeaters (Red and Little Wattlebird) produced characteristically harsh vocalisations covering a wide range of frequencies. Crescent and White-plumed Honeyeaters had a varied and complex repertoire of calls and songs which were quite musical in nature. Noisy Miners and New Holland Honeyeaters produced vocalisations dominated by simple single note whistles. Each species had specific vocalisations emitted in different contexts: alarm, distress, begging and contact calls as well as song. Alarm and distress calls of the six species had common characteristics and typically induced responses from other honeyeater species.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1994

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