Eastern Spinebill

I’ve seen Eastern Spinebills in my garden before but never managed a proper photo. These aren’t the greatest, either. The UV filter on my new Nikon D3000 lens is a little cloudy. This tree is in my neighbour’s yard. When I first spotted the bird’s rufous chest, I hardly dared hope it was a spinebill.




It will sometimes hover like a hummingbird while it extracts nectar. Apparently this is rare behaviour for our honeyeaters. They usually perch. The spinebill prefers heath, forest, and woodland. They will sometimes visit urban gardens and seem fond of fuchsias. Their bill suits tubular flowers.  This bird is a male as the crown extends into the black lines on the breast. A female as less distinct markings.



Thanks for looking. A white-plumed honeyeater had a good look at me while I was taking the above photos.


I think the camera may have been beeping (I’m deaf and cannot usually tell.) The honeyeater flew right at me, circled above my head, and returned to the tree – leaving behind not one bit of photographic evidence of its passing. Yesterday, a pretty flycatcher did exactly the same. I must improve my reflexes!

Do have a lovely weekend!




8 thoughts on “Eastern Spinebill

  1. sue ouzounis says:

    Lovely bird. I thought they hovered while they were sourcing food. Much more sensible idea to perch. Love the last shot, he’s saying “I’ve heard all about you lady”

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