White-fronted Honeyeater Click to enlarge image
White-fronted Honeyeater, Phylidonyris albifrons Image: Purnell Collection
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
  • Classification
  • Size Range
    13 cm to 18 cm

In hot weather, adult White-fronted Honeyeaters may straddle nests to shade their young. It is a medium-sized honeyeater with a white face mask and 'moustache', a long, strong, curved bill and has a grey cheek patch.

What do White-fronted Honeyeaters look like?


The White-fronted Honeyeater is a medium-sized honeyeater with a white face mask and 'moustache', a long, strong, curved bill and has a grey cheek patch. The throat and upper chest is black to brown, speckled white, the back is dark brown and the underparts are white, streaked black, with a reddish-brown streaked rump and brown grey undertail. There is a small pink-red eye spot behind the red-brown eye and the brown wings have yellow panels. Young birds resemble adults but are paler and lack the bold face markings.

Where do White-fronted Honeyeaters live?


The White-fronted Honeyeater is found in arid and semi-arid shrublands and woodlands, especially mallee and acacia scrubs. May be found in semi-arid coastal areas, such as the Great Australian Bight. Is occasionally found in dry open forests and woodlands, and may be found along roadsides and occasionally in gardens.


The endemic White-fronted Honeyeater is found throughout western New South Wales, western Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, mainly in the arid and semi-arid zones. It may also be found at scattered sites in the Northern Territory and is a rare visitor to the western arid zone of Queensland.

What do White-fronted Honeyeaters eat and how do they communicate?

Feeding and diet

The White-fronted Honeyeater feeds mainly on nectar, but also on insects and sometimes honeydew. It forages mainly at flowers in trees and shrubs, and may be seen feeding in mixed flocks with other honeyeaters e.g. Brown, Singing or Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters.


Variety of loud calls, including harsh metallic notes and cheerful melodic song: 'pert-peetoo-weet'.

What are White-fronted Honeyeaters breeding behaviours and seasonality?

Breeding Behaviour/s

The White-fronted Honeyeater may breed semi-colonially, with a large number of nesting pairs in the same area. The female builds the cup-shaped nest low in a small shrub, on top of a stump or in a clump of spinifex. The nest is woven from grass, bark, stems, spider web and roots, and is lined with plant down, wool, grasses, fur, cotton threads or paper. The female incubates the eggs and brood the young, with both parents feeding them. Nest predators include the Western Brown Snake. Nests may be parasitised by Pallid Cuckoos or Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos.

Breeding Season: August to November.


Highly mobile and seasonal visitor to some areas, in association with flowering of food plants.