The WPT is Fronting

Howdy, friends. This week’s bird is the white-fronted honeyeater. While researching this header I found out that there is also a white-cheeked honeyeater, which is a different bird, on account of where its white tufts are located. I have done my best not to get them confused, but it was a close one.

“The white-fronted honeyeater (Purnella albifrons) is a medium-sized bird species endemic to Australia. Mainly distributed throughout arid and semi-arid landscapes. The white-fronted honeyeater has distinct colourings with a white face, black or brown upper chest with white speckles and yellow panels on their brown wings.[2]

The white-fronted honeyeater was described by the English bird artist John Gould in 1841 and given the binomial name Glyciphila albifrons.[3] The specific epithet combines albus meaning ‘white’ with frons meaning ‘forehead’ or ‘front’.[4] The white-fronted honeyeater was formerly in the genus Phylidonyris,[5] but is now classified as their own genusPurnella.[6] The generic name was chosen to honour the oologist and collector, Herbert A. Purnell.[6][7]

The white-fronted honeyeater moves quickly throughout landscapes; foraging for food and avoiding predators. The species regularly frequents tall shrub species, such as Eremophilia shrubs and flowering mallee plants.[9]

White-fronted honeyeaters breed in small colonies.[2] This process ensures that white-fronted honeyeaters can warn their neighbours of the same species of potential predators when they are at their most vulnerable. The female white-fronted honeyeater constructs their nest from materials that are easy to find within their landscape, and that can add support and structure to the nest. These materials include a range of organic matter such as grasses, spider webs, roots, bark and plant stems. They are woven together to create a cup-like nest which is then lined with an extra layer to provide warmth and comfort to the chicks.[2] This nest lining is composed of a mix of wool, cotton threads, fur and plant material. Nests are generally constructed in the lower branches of shrubs.[2]

The female white-fronted honeyeaters nurtures and broods the eggs, providing warmth and safety. When the eggs hatch, both the female and male white-fronted honeyeaters work tirelessly to provide sufficient food for their young.[2]

This week’s links for photos and edification:,,

Do me a favor and move quickly through the landscape this weekend, forage for food and avoid predators.