Acanthorhynchus superciliosus Gould, 1837, Perth, Western Australia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Western spinebilled honeyeater; French: Mйliphage festonnй; German: Buntkopf-Honigfresser; Spanish: Pico de Espina Occidental.
5.5 in (14 cm); 0.35 oz (10 g). Head black, back and wings grayish. Rufous band behind neck, and from throat to breast. Underparts light gray with black and white bands below breast. White bands behind bill and eye.
Heathland, woodland, and open forest with heathy understory. Sometimes in mallee, rarely in gardens.
Active. White outer tail feathers conspicuous in flight. Produce audible wing beats. Exhibit flight displays, frequent rapid and erratic chases, and male displays to female by fanning tail. Emit twittering and whistling calls and song. Poorly understood movements, perhaps local and in response to flowering patterns of plants.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Probe flowers of banksias, eucalyptus, and numerous shrubs, including Dryandra, Grevillea, Adenanthos, and Calothamnus, as well as kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos). Also take insects, mostly captured in the air but also gleaned from plants.
Breed July to December, occasionally later. The rounded cupshaped nest is placed in a shrub or small tree. Female mostly incubates the clutch of one or two eggs, but both parents feed young. Incubation and fledging periods not known.
Not threatened, but has declined in northeastern part of range due to extensive clearing of habitat; also adversely affected by fire.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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