Spangled Honeyeaters

The Spangled Honeyeaters (Melipotes ater) – also known as Black Honeyeaters, Huon Honeyeaters or Huon Melipotes – occur naturally in the humid mountains of the Huon Peninsula in north-east New Guinea.

They are closely related to the Arfak Honeyeaters (Melipotes gymnops), Common Smoky Honeyeaters (Melipotes fumigatus) and Wattled Smoky Honeyeaters (Melipotes carolae)


Spangled Honeyeaters are large honeyeaters that measure about 11 – 12 inches (28 – 31 cm) in length, including the moderately long tail.

The black or grey-black bill is short and stubby, with a slight down-curve.

The plumage is mostly satin-black, except for a dusky grey chin and uppermost throat, bold white spotting on the plumage below (sparse on the lower throat and upper chest, and heaviest in the center of the lower chest and abdomen).

There are bright yellow patches around the eyes. The eyes are dark brown to red brown. The legs are blue-grey.

Males and females look alike.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

These honeyeaters are generally quiet. Their vocalizations are described as a repeated deep “chut chut

Sound Recordings

Diet / Feeding

Spangled Honeyeaters mostly feed on flower nectar, like the American hummingbirds. Their highly developed brush-tipped tongues are frayed and fringed with bristles which soak up liquids.

They also take insects and other small creatures, usually by hawking (catching insects mid-air), sometimes by gleaning them off foliage.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ???? … Czech: medá?ek žlutolalo?natý, Mednatka cerná … Danish: Hvidplettet Honningæder … Dutch: Huonhoningeter, Huon-honingeter … Finnish: Huoninkaljumesikko … French: Méliphage à moucheture, Méliphage pailleté … German: Huon Honigfresser, Huonhonigfresser … Italian: Succhiamiele ornato di Huon, Succiamiele picchiettato … Japanese: higashikihoomitsusui … Norwegian: Rødmehonningeter … Polish: dziwoliczek wielki, Dziwook wielki … Russian: ???????????? ??????? … Slovak: medárik perlavý … Spanish: Mielero Moteado, Pájaro Azúcar Huon … Swedish: Vitfläckig honungsfågel

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