The Painted Honeyeater is small (16 cm) and distinctive, with a black head and back and white underparts with dark streaks on the flanks. The wings and tail are black with bright yellow edgings. The distinctive bill is pink with a dark tip. The female is greyer on the upperparts and has less streaking on the flanks.
The Painted Honeyeater is nomadic and occurs at low densities throughout its range. The greatest concentrations of the bird and almost all breeding occurs on the inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range in NSW, Victoria and southern Queensland. During the winter it is more likely to be found in the north of its distribution.
Habitat and ecology
- Inhabits Boree/ Weeping Myall (Acacia pendula), Brigalow (A. harpophylla) and Box-Gum Woodlands and Box-Ironbark Forests.
- A specialist feeder on the fruits of mistletoes growing on woodland eucalypts and acacias. Prefers mistletoes of the genus Amyema.
- Insects and nectar from mistletoe or eucalypts are occasionally eaten.
- Nest from spring to autumn in a small, delicate nest hanging within the outer canopy of drooping eucalypts, she-oak, paperbark or mistletoe branches.