The male Pied Honeyeater is a distinctive small, black and white honeyeater with white wing-bar, rump and tail-panels, and a bluish-grey wattle below the eye. The female is greyish-brown, with a strong pattern of pale edging to feathers on the wing.
Widespread throughout acacia, mallee and spinifex scrubs of arid and semi-arid Australia. Occasionally occurs further east, on the slopes and plains and the Hunter Valley, typically during periods of drought.
Habitat and ecology
- Inhabits wattle shrub, primarily Mulga (Acacia aneura), mallee, spinifex and eucalypt woodlands, usually when shrubs are flowering; feeds on nectar, predominantly from various species of emu-bushes (Eremophila spp.); also from mistletoes and various other shrubs (e.g. Grevillea spp.); also eats saltbush fruit, berries, seed, flowers and insects.
- Highly nomadic, following the erratic flowering of shrubs; can be locally common at times.
- Constructs a relatively large cup-shaped nest, usually robust, although occasionally loose, constructed of grasses and fine twigs, bound with spider webs, in the fork of a shrub or tree up to 5 m above the ground.